Why the "Black Panther" movie matters

Black Panther, Marvel’s new superhero movie, now rated an astonishing 99% on Rotten Tomatoes, is out Friday. It's the first mega-­budget movie — not just about superheroes, but about anyone — to have an African-American director and predominantly black cast, TIME contributor Jamil Smith writes.

Why it matters: “Those of us who are not white have considerably more trouble not only finding representation of ourselves in mass media and other arenas of public life, but also finding representation that indicates that our humanity is multi­faceted."

Cover of TIME
Courtesy of TIME