When I first saw the trailer for Black Panther I was intrigued and a little excited. It was during the holidays and I thought to myself WOW, I have to wait until 2018 to see this. Even though I am not a Marvel fan, I was connected to this particular movie. Was it because of Chadwick Boseman, Angela Bassett, or Forest Whitaker? I finally figured it out, it was the all black cast. The last movie that I saw with an all black cast was Coming To America with Eddie Murphy. Can our culture and community continue the unity, pride and cultural positivity that Black Panther has restored?
Akeem and T'Challa
Two kings, both from Africa, both wealthy and both seeking change. Akeem (played by Eddie Murphy) wanting to find his own bride and fall in love organically. T'Challa (played by Chadwick Boseman) seeking justice for his country, his people and building a legacy. Both are men of great character, morals and ethics just trying to navigate in a world that is different. Legacy, community and family are at the forefront for both. When Coming To America hit the movies it changed our view of black people and restored our faith in our heritage and culture - which for me in the 90's was very important. Fast forward to 2018, I am introducing my kids to Black Panther and showing them what is possible when people of color unite. The first thing my daughter said after the movie was, " I have never seen a movie with so many black actors in it." I looked at her and said it's possible. Now she's in love with T'Challa's sister Shuri and can't wait to see her as the next Disney princess.
Zamunda, Wakanda & Black Twitter
What is SO wonderful about our culture is how we 100% embrace, support and dress the part for the cause. Black Twitter was on fire with dashiki's, head wraps, gold jewelry and so much more. We came out in full African dress to not only make a statement but to remember where we came from and to support our culture. From #WakandaForever tees to cultural dances this was our time to stand up and be proud. We have to continue the momentum after the buzz stops. We have to keep the phrase "From Zamunda to Wakanda" alive months and years from now. Our culture is so much bigger than a movie but we have to continue to do the work to ensure we are not forgotten.
Of course, Black Panther 2 please! We cannot wait to see what Marvel has in store for us in the coming months. Let's continue to support our community, our actors, and our culture. Whether it's at the movies, at a concert or volunteering at an event - keep the momentum going. Akeem, The Obama's, T'Challa and countless others were not accidents, they were put here to show us what black excellence looks like.