Black Panther: A Hidden Gem

Is Black Panther really for the culture?

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Some claim the film to be over-hyped, while others perceive it as a cultural movement.

After all the hype and major suspense, leading up to the official premiere day of “Black Panther.” I finally bought my ticket (a few days later because the movie was sold out the entire weekend) and with the company of my 7-year-old nephew, we headed out to join the glorious nation of Wakanda. (sigh) No, we didn’t join the wave of wearing traditional African garb. Truthfully, I don’t own any at the moment (yea, yea, I know shame on me). However, we still looked pretty good in our casual modern, westernized ensembles.

It’s refreshing to see Black actors (of all ages) step away from Hollywood’s stereotypical “Black roles” which often limit our narratives to enslavement, and a variety of other societal forms of oppression: drug dealers, impoverished/ struggling working class people, drug addicts and common victims of authoritative inflicted violence.

Let me just say this, any movie that makes you want to join a fictionalized nation is- in my opinion- a life changing and enjoyable experience. I’d love to live in Wakanda; if it were a real nation, I’d revoke my American citizenship and move there in a heartbeat.

I mean no shade to the hundreds of other classic Marvel superhero films that have countless remakes. Once again, no shade, noooo shade:(#AllMarvelSuperheroLivesMatter). It’s just Black Panther’s story-in contrast to his fellow Marvel counterparts- was never brought to the forefront and popularized in the mainstream. Black panther isn’t a new super hero on the scene, he’s nearly 6 decades old. So, yea, he’s pretty mature at this point.

I guess it’s fair to say, some of the best things are worth waiting for. & 2018 was definitely Black Panther’s time so shine.

It warmed my heart seeing various hues of beautiful brown complexion grace the cinematic screen and deliver their roles with ferocious power.

Black Panther presented more than just vibrant, intense combatting; dope high tech equipment, afrocentric beauty; national/cultural pride; innovation and traditional rituals. It depicts, the story of Africa in a positive, uplifting and forward thinking way- without the spoon fed HIStoric accounts of poverty and emaciated people. Before someone comes on here and tries to burst my proud ‘black panther bubble’ let me clarify; Yes,I’m aware the story is fictionalized. But there’s no denying that the influential sources derive from actual African cultures.

WahKinda LOVE? WAKANDA LOVE.

 

Another thing, I’ve been keeping in my hypercritical mind when it comes to watching movies are the overt portrayals of love and the role(s) each love interest plays.

Now, we all know it’s clear who the film’s central love interests are: T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o)

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T’Challa plays the role of a powerful leader who is both influenced and weakened by women. His sister Shuri, is a young innovative scientist, whose technologically advanced inventions- with the use of a natural resource (vibranium)-enhances T’Challa’s abilities, allowing him to seem nearly indestructible against his opponents. It’s with Shuri’s inventions that T’Challa simultaneously defeats and protects his precious Wakanda.

 

The film projects heterosexual love in a different light for both genders; Love is perceived as patient, unwavering, persistent, protective, and eternal. The love T’Challa displays for his country and lover, Nakia, are somewhat similar, yet deeply disparate.

The romanticized stereotypes of male obsession, sexual acts, conversations revolving around the male figure were not present in this film. Tbh, I’m relieved. I’m beyond tired of these redundant, cliche plot lines.

Neither, T’Challa or Nakia, portray cliche gender biased characteristics (i.e., the female= submissive or usually lacking self-confidence, sometimes both; male= dominate, popular and physically attractive) instead T’Challa and Nakia demonstrate their strong rapport through mutual respect and balance. The males in the utopian society of Wakanda level the playing field by showing respect for their women through, inclusion, understanding, leadership and influence. There is an overall respect for female influence in Wakanda.

I find  T’Challa’s inability to think or speak freely in Nakia’s presence so cute and innocent. What’s even more humorous about it, is how often he’s teased for his act. Once again, there is a clear message of the strength feminine aura upholds in this society and its undeniably powerful influence on men.

Nakia asserts her power by vocalizing her wants and aspirations to T’Challa. Although Nikia is offered the  honor of claiming the throne as T’Challa’s wife and Queen of Wakanda; she chooses  to follow her own path and fulfill her desires before settling for a life blanketed with comfort (You go girl!).T’Challa respects her wishes and continues to show his undying love for Nakia in other ways.

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I appreciate the writers and most importantly the characters for showing us that it’s possible to express love far beyond the confines of physicality or intimacy. Not once was there an act of sexual expression or subliminal messages. Thank God! It would’ve been awkward having to explain that to my nephew. 

Both characters were aware of their significant roles in one another’s lives, but used their love to join forces to fight for their even greater love, Wakanda.

So, to answer the question. Yes, I wholeheartedly believe Black Panther

is the culture

for the culture

and is a representation of the culture.

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Take a Knee or Flee

I don’t know much about football or any sport at that.

This should get your attention.

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Now you see where I’m going with this, right?

Lately, amidst the unexpected announcement of  Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy and Cardi B’s major career milestone as a female rap artist. There’s been some serious shit going on in the country.

I admit, I don’t watch Football or care to watch it. In my opinion it looks painful to endure and it’s even more painful to understand why men choose to do this for a living.

I digress, let’s get to the main point: Taking a knee.

Yet again, citizens of the great U S of A seem to be at odds with major racial tensions which no one wants to admit are racial tensions, even your President Trump is in denial.  For generations, and now within this modern progressive era the same cruel acts are repeatedly expressed without any actual repercussions for those violent actions.  Some American political officials as we know it-learned in history classes as well as watched on news channel- often approach the cruel mistreatments of Black people with some form of naivety. So why do these malicious acts continue to receive pardon and the real perpetuators get to walk freely, meanwhile the common civilians who are rightfully allowed to practice freedom of speech by standing in solidarity to protest the wrong doings, are the one being punished. Now tell me if that doesn’t sound like the definition of hypocrisy.

The government and the “justice system” are astonishling incognito during moments when hatred is overtly portrayed. As soon as groups assemble in efforts to protest the injustices, the conscious-mind individuals carrying grief in their heart and discontent on their faces  are casted with the villainous roles. .

Im not sure who taught Trump or his supporters their lessons in basic humanity, but I’m sure their handbook is definitely wrong and needs some serious editing.

So here we go, once again with not only regular civilians taking charge by expressing their concern and the need for systemic reform through the means of protesting.

It’s great seeing celebrity athletes using their platform to encourage widespread recognition. During these silent protests the athletes did not execute any physical harm towards anyone. All they did was display their respect for the numerous Black lives lost at the hands of countless police officers. The only harm that’s being done, are heartless patriots who dismiss the problematic genocide of Black lives. If you’re not human enough to see that, then maybe you’re blind, if you’re not human enough to believe it, then there’s already a racial stigma conquering your mind. If you do not want to hear it, you’re choosing to believe the systemic fear of certain groups to appear as a reality.

You see those people taking the knee, when they’re playing our great national anthem. Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He’s fired!’

Once again,  it’s no surprise to me Your President expresses himself in an unprofessional manner, it shows you whose concerns he takes in to account and his stance on the entire issues that stems further than a FLAG.  It’s not about the flagIf you’re able to  talk about fellow Americans who are more than happy to play an all-American sport and represent America, then what would you say about other people? Well, who am I kidding, he’s expressed his views on Middle eastern people, diverse immigrant group and his favorite of them all Mexicans. So we’re pretty much clear on where he stands. Trump hates everyone, except…you know who. His own. More power to you, but as a prominent (I use that term loosely) figure, you have to intuitively know when something is unjustifiably wrong and know to apply morality, hell basic humanity to a recurrent situation.

These Football players aren’t turning a blind eye to the injustices so many innocent lives have fallen prey to. It places fear in my heart to see the impact a paper with numerical signs and white figures can have so many lives. And for the simple fact, of their wealth, the athletes are expected to play the role of mute, deaf dummies being controlled by their master puppeteer, the great old dollar bill. I guess it upsets Trump that they won’t just take their money enjoy their wealth and exclude themselves from extreme racial affairs.  Eat, sleep and breathe Football- that’s the motto.

A flag  as we all know is an inanimate object, therefore, it doesn’t possess emotions, hold regard for people and neither feels nor understands harm. As for people, no matter their complexion, race, social/ economic status, nationality or religion, they possess all of the qualities a flag lacks, plus more.

Honestly, who’s or what is really being disrespected a flag, a song or a specific race?

I commend these football players for standing by their mission and remaining peaceful.

And I commend them all for celebrating the lives lost at the hands of complete injustice and racist intent.