I know I’m very late in watching Black Panther (don’t rub it in) but Wakanda’s forever anyway, so time is relative. Let’s just say life happened. Nonetheless, I finally had the pleasure of watching this movie today. I’m not a huge movie fan but the hype about this film got me really psyched! A movie where all the main characters are Black set in an African nation untouched by colonization, where women are heroes alongside the men, where the plot isn’t about slavery, drugs, basketball or some other painful stereotype: I’m here for it! The costumes were stunning, the colours brilliant and each and every ornament and thread woven with significance and history. The landscape was beautiful and shows Africa’s landscape in a light that it has never been shown before. Black Panther showed the world that Africa isn’t just large fearsome animals, drought and starving children but also the land of advancement and splendour and plenty. Black Panther showed what Africa would, could and should have been without colonization. . . and still can be. . . and in fact, what many parts of Africa actually are! It shows that Black people are very talented and capable of delivering superb content for our own consumption.
Hol’ on, I see nuff faces long, but this is not a racist [post].
This is a [post] for the children who was never told about where their race is from.
They never hear it in them favourite songs
Everybody calm and say slavery’s done
-Chronixx, Black is Beautiful
The movie was beautiful but it has gotten a lot of flack for reasons on which I won’t elaborate just in case there’s anyone reading this who still hasn’t seen the film. I understand the basis of these criticisms and there are a few which I share too. However, at the writing of this post, Black Panther is now the 12th highest earning movie of all time with a worldwide total earning of US$1.237 billion. There must be a reason for that. And that reason was evidenced today by my younger brother with whom I went to watch the film. He’s perhaps too young to fully grasp all the symbolism and significance woven throughout the film, but his ten-year-old eyes didn’t miss this. A quarter way into the film, he grabbed my arm excitedly and squealed, “Rochelle, did you realize almost every actor in this movie is Black? I’ve never seen any movie like this before. I didn’t know you could have this many Black people in a show.” Those words stung but the light in his eyes almost brought me to tears. And I whispered to him in the dark, “Yes baby, why not.”
That is why this film is powerful.
Every single Black child around the world must see this film. For those of us who have seen it, let’s make it happen. Every child who sees this film is a seed of hope planted for the advancement of our race. Too many Black children lack confidence in self. When you don’t see yourself represented on TV, when the people who your society hold in high regard don’t share your skin colour, your eye colour, your nose, your lips, your cheekbones nor your hair texture, it’s scary how paralyzing the subliminal message is. And we can’t ever expect anyone to erase that message for us. We have to turn around and sow seeds of empowerment and break the chains of mental slavery for ourselves. For our own race. For our own future. It’s no other race’s responsibility to empower the Black race. We must do it for ourselves.
And Black Panther, the first of its kind, is a step in the right direction.
If you have no confidence in self you are twice defeated in the race of life. With confidence you have won even before you have started.
P.S. I’m gonna try & see this film again before it leaves my local cinema. And on an unrelated note, Chadwick Boseman though! My word! 😍😍😍