Black Panther Manic Monday
Disclaimer: This is not a plug for anyone to see Black Panther just a thought to ponder on.
First of all I want to congratulate Director Ryan Coogler of Black Panther for some that name is very familiar for others you are hearing it for the first time over this past weekend and for those who still don’t know who he is, let me help you. Ryan Coogler had his directorial debut in Fruitvale Station, it was the story of the last twenty hours of Oscar Grant’s life. If you would like to know more I encourage you to see the movie.
This thought is not about Ryan Coogler directly, it’s about the mixed reviews, opinions and skewed perceptions. Hear my heart on this, I’m a huge fan of Marvel characters in particular X-Men these characters make good movies from storylines to action on screen.
Black Panther has been the buzz phrase for the last three months or so and this weekend I’m sure in your own households you have said it at least ten times. And whether you have said it or not you have heard it and seen countless advertisements for it. Now from a marketing perspective this is one of those fail proof hit the nail on the head. It is Black History Month this movie couldn’t have come out at a better time. It’s similar to what Will Smith’s PR team does for him when he drops a movie, it’s always brilliant timing.
The timing of the movie hasn’t been the issue the issue seems to be people really not liking all the hoopla if you will. They are sitting back drinking the hate juice big time. Now let’s examine why? When was the last time there was a “black” superhero? And Batman does not count because he wore a black costume. Well then there was Spawn that’s not exactly the superhero we were looking for, so again when was the last time there was a black superhero? If never was your answer, let’s flesh that out. If you have ever had something and someone to tell you that “I have something for you and its really big” and it was coming in a month. They have talked about it, they showed you pictures of it and other people are talking about it the hype of it is very intense. As time draws closer and closer to when they told you it was going to be presented it to you heightens your anticipation.
In the meantime you have been in anticipation and preparation. I don’t know what your thing may be but it’s like a soon to be mother in waiting of the arrival of her baby. She prepares her body, her home and her entire life in anticipation of the arrival of her new addition. Well Black Panther may not be as endearing as a mother awaiting a child but you can cool believe there has been anticipation and preparation.
Families have purchased tickets months ago, outfits were being selected three weeks prior to the movie release and articles have been read to catch up on the character and lineage of T’Challa and the people of Wakanda. It hasn’t been this much excitement since…exactly. (Coming to America??) People of color get movies here and there that they anticipate but nothing like this well at least not in the last twenty five years.
Wait before you start throwing your stones, listen all other races please celebrate as well because if you look really close you’ll find a common thread a sense of pride. Yes you will see a group of people who are very proud to be represented on a big screen in such a bold and powerful way. I know you saying but “what are they doing with all these African garments, wraps, drums jewelry and greetings.” I’m so glad you asked.
People who come from lands with a lot of melanin in their skin were kings and queens and princes and princesses. They were rulers, lawmakers and peacekeepers prior to being uprooted from their nations and lands. Every tribe having its own color, each print and pattern spoke to where you were from and the drums are a voice. Those voices could be heard in the distance signaling many things, sometimes warning, war and even triumph. The jewelry is the artistry and craftsmanship of the women of many tribes they have placed each bead each stitch into every piece. The head wraps adorn their heads to let you know what positions they hold within the tribes it will tell you if she’s married, widow or a grandmother.
So don’t be alarmed my non melanin friends or melanin friends who think it’s too much or excessive. Melanin people come from prosperity and power, leadership and luxury, this is not foreign to them it was stripped from them so they forget-- their memories were marred with the tragedies of losing loved ones and their villages being raped by pillagers.
I say if it takes the premiere of Black Panther to remind a people of where they come from, who they are and what they stand for by all means let it happen. The distorted view of who people of African descent are is not the image of sagging pants, tight clothes, poverty and uneducated that’s not who the descendants from Africa are, they are a people with rich ancestry deeply rooted in power and prosperity. If wearing a Dashiki or head wrap, a hand beaded necklace, a sarong, beating of the drums to a movie premiere gave you a sense of pride and reminded you of your roots, I say good for you.
I employ you to not allow your experience over this awesome weekend get buried again with the trials of life and political garbage that saturates your minds. Wake up every day knowing that you are a king and queen, you are a warrior in your own life, you are victorious, you are royalty, you are who God says you are and it is always YOUR time.
You go and teach and reach your generations and give them the richness of your people, the warrior in your veins and the God in your hearts. #WakandaForever