Black Panther and Black History #MuvasThoughts
Walking out of the theatre after watching Black Panther on Friday, I felt an overwhelming sense of pride. Seeing that movie with Blacks and Africans in all of our glory, was something that I hadn't felt in awhile; especially considering the racial climate we're living in right now. From the director, cast, costumes, the score (produced by Kendrick Lamaar and The Weeknd) it was drippin in melanin finesse. So how fitting that this movie in all of its black excellence-ness (did I just make up a word? Yes I did lol) debut during Black History Month?
Growing up, we learned about the very basics of black history. There were pages, maybe a chapter, covering it. Then we talked about Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr. and that was it. I couldn't figure out how something so detrimental for a group of people yet ultimately rewarding for others, could be summarized into mere paragraphs. Yet we had volumes of books full of history for everyone that looked nothing like me. It became apparent to me that if I wanted to learn about my people, my history, it would be up to me.
Now that I'm a mother raising a black son, it is imperative that I show him positive images of who and what he comes from. It is very much so evident that we still live in a world where some will hate him for the very thing that makes him beautiful, so I try to counter that. Whenever opportunity arises, I give him the chance to see people who look like him making a difference. Standing up for what they believe in. Making history. Shaping the future.
That is why a movie like Black Panther is so important. This movie changes the narrative. It allows both sides to see us in a light that barely gets any shine. To see black people portrayed in a regal way, instead of as slaves, drug addicts, prisoners, violent. To see us in positions of power, intelligent, progressive, regal. Its the encompassment of our aspirations, our dreams. Taking pieces of our history and blending them together to make something epic #ForTheCulture. These are the images that make a difference, that help with the reimaging of what people see when they look at us.
So start a conversation with someone who doesn't look like you. Ask questions. Have productive dialogue. Imagine how different it could be for our children if we began with ourselves.