Oldfag here. Caucasian as well. I first read of Black Panther as a young kid back in the 70's in issues of Avengers. I thought he was okay, but nothing special. In my kid's mind, I saw him as being a lot like Cap but without a shield or anything great. He was given a terse amount of dialogue and honestly not much plot material involving his character.
Falcon, on the other hand, I liked a lot. He was a friend and partner of Captain America, could fly, had bird telepathy with a single bird (seriously, even as a kid I WTF'd at that), but literally had nothing else. And he'd go up against enemies like Wrecking Crew or Serpent Society and be better than just 'useful' in a fight.
Much later in the 80's and 90's, I cared less for Black Panther as he just felt like a Batman rip-off of some kind but without the cool gadgets or again, anything special about him. His being a monarch of a country was about as important as Doctor Doom ruling Latveria, or Namor being King of Atlantis. It just never factored into stories much or gave the character much relevance to the individual comic issue plots.
Now that we're into the movies? He's kind of a neat character but I don't feel compelled to rush out and buy a movie ticket - the same feeling I had for Ant-man & Doctor Strange. So that's my 2 cents.