Question: What did you like most about the movie of the year? BLACK PANTHER 🙌🏾
First, If you have not seen this movie of the year, Black Panther, stop reading this post and go watch it now. Like… right now. NOW.
Now, for those who have seen Black Panther, what are your thoughts? What was your favorite aspect and/or message delivered by this movie? What resonated with you the most? While you are thinking about that, I am going to give you my answer.
After watching the amazingly well-shot trailers, of this movie, I finally had the opportunity to go see it!
There I was, sitting in the theatre, cold and dark, watching trailers after trailers. And then, I was brought into the land of… WAKANDA.
A dramatic beginning only to create a powerful story about a young man growing up to be a superhero, role model, and leader to those around him. But, it is not that simple. One of the reasons this movie is named the movie of the year is because it is the most earning superhero movie in Marvel HISTORY.
This movie is not only a powerful story about a young man coming into power. It is about a BLACK man coming into power. SUPERHERO, kind of power. This movie has shown how far we have come and our rightful place at the top of the hierarchy as any other deserving human being should be. We have come from shackles, chains, cotton fields, and BUILDING that White House, everyone so “proudly” cherishes. Now, we are making millions, breaking box offices, and working for what we have earned instead of waiting for society to hand it to us. YESSSSSS!!!!!!!!
Haha, but… WAIT!
We did NOT stop there!
What about the Wakanda Warriors? Officially known as The Dora Milaje. They deserve as much praise if not MORE than the Black Panther. And I am not saying that because I am a modest feminist, no. But, to have black women hold such status and power, as these Warriors, is… REVOLUTIONARY. But this begs the question, why is this so important?
Well, if you did not know already, black women do not only come second because they are women. But, we are placed at the very very bottom because we are BLACK women. American society has not only placed us at the bottom of the chain but has stigmatized us as ANGRY black women who have too much independence, who are too outspoken, who are too sassy, and as women who are too strong-minded or opinionated. (I can completely analyze the stigmas, connotations, and stereotypes inflicted upon us black women right now, but I think I will save that for another post or you will be reading this one for a week.)
First of all, there is no such thing as being too independent. Because us black women are at the very bottom of the chain, we have had to develop tough skin, ARMOR, to protect and rely on ourselves from the abuse inflicted on us by not only white men but our own black men as well.
Second of all, I would rather be outspoken than a damn mouse who is too afraid to speak up. I may be at the very bottom of the chain because of my race and gender but I will not let that take away the power of my voice, my first amendment right to freedom of speech.
Third of all, having a little sass is simply confidence wrapped up in exuberance. If you cannot handle it, you are FREE to remove yourself from my presence.
Lastly, having a strong mind and being opinionated is fueled by our intellect, courage, and dignity. Therefore, do not let anyone belittle, demean, or condemn you for: knowing what you want, challenging ideas/beliefs/norms, and being you. Just remember, delivery is key. It is the fusion of how you say it, and what you say that needs to be formulated and resonated in an honorable way.
Am I the only one who thinks that possessing all of these qualities just means that you are Innocently Fierce?
Now, in Black Panther, in the land of WAKANDA, these black women who are “too independent,” “too talkative,” “too sassy,” “too strong-minded” or “opinionated,” are and represented and RESPECTED as eloquent, humble, gracious, strong, brave, synergetic and empowered, WARRIORS.
This is a HUGE deal. It is not often that we see women working together, instead of competing with and degrading each other, on and off screen.
For once, in Hollywood, there are black women actresses who are earning the opportunity to play heroic roles. Aside from Olivia Pope and Annalise Keating, we need to see more black women actresses in a position of that protector power. Do you know what I mean? Like, I do not think I have ever seen women play the role of a bodyguard to a man. In most cases, the women playing those bodyguard roles are depicted as lesbians, as some of the main stereotypes inflicted upon lesbian women are that they are masculine, tomboys, and the “men” in their relationships. Which has sexism and bullshit written all over it!
Just keeping it real.
All-embracing, I was extremely moved, inspired, and empowered by how these black women were represented as such empowered, strong-willed, brave, educated, unified and fearless warriors. As being The Black Panther, a black man, protected by these black warriors, completely shatters that one gender role about strength and power, that American society has enforced and embedded within our souls.
Therefore, I not only want to be a part of the fabric that shapes and enforces themes as such in society. I… WILL be an active thread in that fabric.
Let us take what Hollywood is presenting to us in films, such as this one, and implement them into our well-being, soul, and society as a whole.
With movies like this, we are teaching and empowering young black girls that they have a voice, that they can be leaders, that they are strong, that they are smart/intelligent, that uplifting each other is key and the essence of true beauty, and that they too harvest the power in manifesting their own destinies and autonomy.
So, thank you, Christopher Priest and Mark Texeira, for creating The Dora Milaje.