Marvel Studios' BLACK PANTHER..T'Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)..Ph: Film Frame..©Marvel Studios 2018

The following article contains spoilers for Black Panther.

Marvel Studios’ Black Panther is a triumph. It is a cultural phenomenon that offers black audiences a new level of representation that they’ve been denied for far too long. It is for them, but also for everyone according to director Ryan Coogler. He certainly included a powerful message that everyone needs to hear.

During the film’s mid-credits scene, T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) introduces himself and his country, Wakanda, to a room full of world leaders. He offers the knowledge and resources of his nation to all others as part of a beautiful speech about not only the value, but the necessity of unity in the human experience.

T’Challa says that our very existence is threatened by “illusions of division.” We know, or at least we ought to recognize, that “more connects us than separates us.” The King of Wakanda drew applause from the 7:00pm Thursday night crowd at the TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX in Hollywood when he added that in times of trouble, “the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers.”

That last bit is a not so subtle takedown of the hateful “build the wall” rhetoric on which the current United States President ran his 2016 campaign. The point of the scene, however, isn’t to shame any one particular person or whoever voted for him. The “barriers” T’Challa is talking about go beyond physical structures.

We put up barriers in the way we speak (or refuse to speak) to one another. We condemn one another, looking for the fastest way to define those who disagree as “other,” or an enemy. The fastest route to dismissal also offers the easiest excuse for our refusal to listen.

There are those who wish to sell us illusions of division over and over, and we buy them again and again.

T’Challa’s speech is not an oversimplified request for everyone to just get along even if someone is advocating something terrible and hateful, like a wall. It is a call for reflection in hopes that we will see that which unites us as human beings. Those “fools” who wish to continue championing division cannot win if the rest of us stand together and take care of each other.

T’Challa does not make the mistake of thinking his words will cure all troubles. His message requires effort on the part of those who hear it. The work has to be put in, starting with a change in our mindset and followed by the will to act. To live as the “one tribe” T’Challa hopes we will become, the first bridges must be built with the hands we reach out to one another.

This mid-credits scene is as powerful and moving as any scene in the 10-year, 18-film history of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Black Panther is more than a movie. It is an important moment in time that offers clarity of purpose. Black Panther shines a light on the road to a better future through the opening of hearts and minds in our present.