Can I be honest about Black Panther?
Recently, as I am 100% sure you are aware, a brand new, life changing, thrill seeking, and inspiring movie came to theaters called the "Black Panther". Thus far, droves of people have gone out to support the African American filled blockbuster film that has grossed a record setting $400 Million in its first ten days, only "The Force Awakens" has done better. I mean this is nuts. I have some friends who have gone to see it three and four times now, that's more than I go to any movie throughout the whole year. Anyway, if you haven’t seen the movie already I want to give you the chance to stop here because there will be some spoilers if you continue. I will reference some of the main characters relationships, talk all about the life in Wakanda and what it meant to me. So again, this is your last warning...
So there are some things I need to get off my chest before this really gets deep. I want everyone to understand that this was a phenomenal movie, the production and acting that was put into it was second to none. I also think it was really cool how the African American community has gotten behind this movie. But that's what got me thinking. Hearing the reviews before going to see it in theaters I heard nothing less than, it was "powerful", "uplifting", "showed black beauty in so many ways", and it goes on and on. I can see why many of my counterparts would have these feelings, but I want to challenge those exact thoughts. Sitting through the movie I struggled the entire time but by the end of the movie my only thought was "this is some bullsh*t". I was pissed, and left almost enraged because I felt that we as a people bought and celebrated the prisons that we currently live in. The entire storyline was about OUR PEOPLE, KILLING OUR PEOPLE. In the beginning of the movie we learned that the father of the future king killed his brother in order to protect the name sake of his people. Fast forward to the end of the movie through all of the war, deception, revealing of truth, and internal battle we see, or are led to believe that the next generation is in the exact same boat. The king having to make the decision to kill his cousin in order to save HIS people. Not only was the focus on killing our own people but the ONE PERSON who was trying to go against the system was shunned and killed. I am not saying he wasn't a little crazy and threatening but I think there were a couple of solutions to the problem and an effort to mend relationships would have been a much better plot line for our people. The directors did a great job of making the movie very relatable. We live in a time where our leaders are good at appealing to OUR struggles, but they never can figure out a way to liberate those EXACT SAME PEOPLE. This movie displayed our mental and physical oppression, the only different in this one and the average one is WE put on the show this time instead of THEM... There were so many great quotes in this movie that I could refer to that can bring light to our potential victories. Although I feel like these potential victories were not pointed out I want to leave with just a few that I saw. (There are plenty more that we can have in conversation but this should be good reading).
"You get to decide what kind of king you're going to be"
Don't let society choose what life you have to live.
"If you weren't so stubborn you would make a great queen." "I would make a great queen because I'm stubborn-- if that's what I wanted."
Sometimes it better to be the one who thinks differently, who fights back, and who stands for what they believe in. Even if you are rejected you can find content in living in your truth.
"More connects us than separates us -- but in times of crisis, the wise build bridges while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one tribe."
Let's build bridges, lets come together. Don't fight against one another, if your brother/sister has gone astray try to bring him along with you, not kill him.
"Nah, just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships. Because they knew death was better than bondage."
This was the most prominent quote to me that still sits in my heart EVERY SINGLE DAY. He's saying that I much rather be dead than a slave. I much rather give up my life than be existent in a life that I can't live. I hope you caught that. Sometimes we can be alive and because of society or our insecurities we don't truly live and show who we are.
If you really take a look at the story the movie was 99% negative in nature, it was a direct depiction of "life black people live in" and by the reviews it seems like we are okay with this. It's time for us to get over the bullsh*t . Why are we rejoicing simply because someone can feel our pain or be able to put our reality on a TV screen. I have witness black on black crime first hand. Yes this may have pointed out how the Africans could have played a better role in our civilization, yes this pointed out how the colonizer put us in this position but those things are out of our control now. How about we focus on Wakanda being better. How about we focus on how we can save the people of Wakanda from just staying in Wakanda and suffering when it’s not needed. If there is a wealth of resources let’s use those to liberate ourselves instead of just sitting on the resources until generation after generation withers away, and someone down the road comes and takes it from us. At the end of the movie they gave us a glimpse of resolution. Literally a glimpse but with no practicality. So we leave the theater and reminisce on all the bullsh*t we go through EVERY SINGLE DAY. We need to ask the question, now what? After we go through this life, we deal with death, deception, oppression: now what? What do we do. Building another home in the ghetto we were raised in is not an answer that I am willing to accept. Why don’t we build communities in places where we are normally not accepted or have access to, wouldn’t that be more beneficial? Maybe I am too harsh, after all there could be a part 2 on the way...
So to round out this unwanted rant I just want to acknowledge that again the movie was ONE OF THE BEST I HAVE EVER SEEN IN MY LIFE. Very well put together, actors are the best in the industry, it showed that black people can make magic, and we EMPOWERED OUR WOMEN to have dominate and supportive roles in a major film. Hats off to all of the achievements and accolades that will come along with. My only hope is that we can look a little deeper into what this is telling us. This is our reality, but the best part is that we do not have to remain here. Let's support each other even more by creating solutions that result in us lifting each other up, saving each other’s lives, us fighting against those that oppress us foreign or domestic, all in the name of love and not war.
This is P.E.A.C.E. Let us be excellent, let us challenge each other, let us come together, let us go climb the tough mountains.
If you don’t agree and there is a highly likely chance, I would love to talk to you and dive deeper in my thoughts. The nature of typing can't truly give you the full story. Let’s chat.
"Just because something works, doesn't mean it can't be improved."- Wakanda Forever