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Ryan Coogler

Director Ryan Coogler Didn’t Expect to Live Past 25 as a Black Man

Black Panther director Ryan Coogler said he almost experienced a crisis when he turned 30.

Coogler, 31, spoke to reporters at the Cannes Film Festival on Friday where he talked about the international success of Black Panther, his life as a filmmaker and how he didn’t expect to live past 25, according to Atlanta Black Star.

“Death is constantly around us to the point that when I turned 30, I almost had a crisis because I never imagined seeing myself that age,” said Coogler. Adding that as a Black man “25 is the like magic number that you’re either dead or in jail. I saw a lot of good people who didn’t make it past that age, whether they went to prison or whether they were murdered.”

Coogler, who’s from Oakland, Calif., was at the film festival to show off a screening of his critically acclaimed film.

“Black Panther” is the groundbreaking force many say it is, disproving the old myths that black films “don’t travel overseas.”

Teddy is a multimedia journalist who serves as the culture and political writer for EBONY. His work has appeared in NBC's Owned and Operated stations, as well as DNAInfo, which covered local neighborhood news in New York City. He received his Masters in Journalism from the Craig Newmark School of Journalism at CUNY in 2017.