Strong black Wakanda warriors. The black women's strength is so beautiful.

Are Black Women Too Strong? #WakandaFOREVER

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.

But, wait!

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.

They are Innocently Fierce.




20 thoughts on “Are Black Women Too Strong? #WakandaFOREVER

  1. I really enjoyed this post a lot it has showed me who much the movie black Panther has inspired people!
    Great job

  2. Hi Ms. Lahens,
    It’s been awhile haha. First of all, I want to say that your posts are always so well-constructed and structured. They motivate me to brush up on my grammar and vocab. So, without yet referring to the context and content of this post, i can already draw something positive I can take with me to self-improve when it comes to my own writing adventures as far as paying attention to detail with certain grammar rules and vocab.
    Second of all, I did not know that the Wakanda warriors were also known as the Dora Milaje. That’s pretty dope if you ask me. So, I consider myself very fortunate to be reading your posts as I would not have known that specific fact otherwise. Thank you for putting in the time to share such relevant fact with us, on behalf of all your readers.
    Third of all, I want to say that I was raving the entire time I was watching the movie about how bad-ass the Wakanda warriors looked and acted. I definitely agree with you when you said that they deserve as much if not more praise than Black Panther because they supported him flawlessly. I remember how powerful, loyal, sassy, opinionated, Black Panther’s main bodyguard was, and thinking to myself: She actually exemplified several independent black females making an impact in our society right now just like she made an impact in Black Panther’s overall success. I definitely agree that “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.” We have several African American educated women in our society voicing their opinions about several sensitive issues about gender inequality overall, gender inequality in the workplace, more importantly inequality amongst different female racial groups. And the fact that Hollywood is placing an emphasis on portraying black women in that leadership and power role is absolutely “REVOLUTIONARY” as you said.
    Great post Ms.Lahens,
    Loudawg (One and Only)

    1. I always wondered why people see Black Panther as a progressive type of movie. The world it presents is very patriarchic, archaically so drenched in the most toxic of masculinity. Doesn’t it bother you that the women were portrayed with no hint of feminity at all? It’s possible for a woman to be feminine and strong at the same time. I don’t like that the movie portraying blackness in that primitive way
      What do you think?

      1. Why do you think that there’s no hint of femininity which you misspelled by the way? what is the meaning of femininity to you? and yes it is possible. Have you personally been associating femininity with weakness?

  3. In my post, it says: ” It’s possible for a woman to be feminine and strong at the same time” so no I don’t associate weakness with feminine
    I like the way the character of Lupita Nyongo was portrayed. She was still strong. I thought it was funny that she kept being dismissed but Black panther took heed when Killmonger said the same thing she has been saying for years!
    I don’t like seeing women portrayed the way the Warriors were unless they were based on a specific African tribe. Were they?

    1. again, you spelled feminine wrong, i think you meant “femininity”. Yea you said “its possible” which doesn’t totally convince me that someone feminine is strong. “Its possible” is not a convincing way to convince someone . Yes, i am aware i used the root “convince” twice.

      1. why exactly don’t you like seeing women portrayed the way the warriors were?

      2. What we have here are different opinions and different views of femininity which I guess don’t matter since we both are men. You’re a male I assume…?
        What matters is what she thinks, the author of this post.
        I think my own misogynistic little mind (apart from the inability to spell “femininity” ) can’t wrap around the possibilities of different forms of feminity. I read that one of the deleted scenes would have explored a queer relationship between the warriors…
        The society portrayed in Wakanda left a bit to be desired. I wished I saw more of how the little people live in Wakanda. It kinda seems a bit oppressive if not primitive, not at all democratic or futuristic…

  4. Well, well, well… you are admitting that you are misogynistic. Ummm, i guess that’s okay. you have a right to be however you want to claim to be. Actually, i do agree with you about not seeing how the people lived in Wakanda. It was still a beautiful movie about society’s reluctance to change when it comes to gender roles, specifically gender racial roles.

    1. And just to let you know, our different opinions and views of femininity matter. Tell me “how they don’t since we are both men”? lol

    2. Ok, Max Frantz Louis I mean Loudawg123ML .
      Obviously, I called myself misogynistic as a snark on my inability to spell “femininity” and the fact that the female warriors bothered me in that movie for some reasons…
      One thing that also bothered me is that fact that Wakanda wanted to be both primitive and futuristic, progressive and traditional, patriarchic and equal…
      Whatever my faults with the movie, I agree it’s a very important movie… A blockbuster that speaks to the black experience. It wasn’t about gender or racial roles… solely about the roles of a black conscience in today’s world…

      I think that Miss Lahens agrees with me. Read this from her post
      “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!”
      This is exactly what I’m saying!

  5. You make no sense whatsoever with your claim that Wakanda wanted to be both primitive and futuristic, progressive and traditional, patriarchic and equal lol.. PLEASE EXPLAIN…. i would appreciate that.
    Okay, she never specified that that the women playing those bodyguard roles are from the movie itself, come on bro, she meant in general. You are a bit confused my guy.

    1. Choosing a leader by having a fight is primitive and traditional. A futuristic and traditional society votes. I guess one of the council leaders was a woman so I wouldn’t say all of Wakanda was patriarchic but only men could be kings. There are little contradictions here and there but I don’t think that was the movie point, or what it’s about.

      She doesn’t think so but I think those cliches apply to this movie also. It’s a very important movie but it’s not 100% perfect. Few movies are…

      1. UMM obviously Men could be Kings. Women would be Queens. Why does it have to be a level of division of power between the two?? Queens could hold the same share of power that kings do right?? Don’t you think so?

  6. we’re talking about the movie. If so, the queen (Black Panther’s mother) had no power. Wakanda is ruled by Tchalla who is king / warrior

    Anyway, the notion of kings and queens should be things of the past
    Let’s at least agree to that

    1. Mr. Loudawg and Mr. Woodly,
      Thank you for providing me with some constructive and inquisitive feedback. The purpose of this post was to mainly highlight  how Hollywood is taking black women and portraying them in a positive, strong, and unique light. No, this movie, The Black Panther, was not perfect. And yes, unfortunately, there was still some unbalance in the division of power, yes. The norms of patriarchy were present, sure. Progressive reform does not happen overnight in a blink of an eye or heartbeat. However, this movie does deserve a round of applause and more for shattering and challenging the stereotypes that surround black men and black women in positions of power and leadership. Does that makes sense? Not to mention, of course it is going to take more than depicting black women as warriors and a black man as a king to see strong progressive change within society. However, Mr. Woodly, I believe that you are overlooking the King’s respect for these women, as well as the significance of their role and existence in this movie. Also, you have to remember the way royalty works. A boy, becomes king once his father passes, that is if he is next in line for the throne, in regards to age. Because T’Challa is older than his sister Shuri, it makes  sense as to why he is king. Yes, his mother is technically the Queen; however, once the next generation takes the throne, they must marry  to fulfill the place of the queen or king, in this case, T’Challa must marry to fulfill the place of the queen. Altogether, I advise and reccommend that you, Mr. Woodly, watch the movie again and then read this post, again. I hope I was able to answer both of your questions or concerns.

      p.s. Unfortunately in American society, femininity is associated with weakness. However, that is not right nor true. It does not bother me that the warriors were not portrayed with a hint of femininity because I do not believe that women need to constantly be subjected to that. What does that mean anyway? That we are doing a disservice to women by not putting emphasis on or magnifying their femininity? Because, all women choose and want to be feminine? Because if you are a woman, you are required to be feminine? Because being “feminine” is how women are respected? Because being feminine determines how women are treated? I do not think so. Think again.

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