If nothing else, the success of Black Panther confirms why Black people need to see more positive images of ourselves. The fervor by which Black folks greet each other with the Wakandan handshake; the fact that Wakanda is now on Black folks’ travel bucket list ?, and the huge box office numbers demonstrates to me that psychologically and emotionally; we really needed this. I won’t be surprised if people start saying they’re Wakandan, if they haven’t already.
We’ve had Black movies before that we heralded up with pride, but this one is especially significant I think because it was done so big; a huge budget which finally matches those of its counterparts. Excellent writing, cinematography, acting all rolled into one. And then the movie showcases what a Black country would look like but-for the evils of slavery and colonization. Say what???
And there was no great white hope to save the day, no paternalistic figure who knew better. Nope, none of that; just strong African men and women who, in fact, were far superior to all other countries.
The messages of freedom, equality, Black pride, intelligence and even superiority, are nothing like we’ve seen before.
This is all good—great— amazing! We should all celebrate. My concern is that Black Panther is still just a movie. And besides the actors and movie executives, will Black lives now matter? Will they really be changed by this phenomenon? We certainly feel good and are excited about the movie, but then what?
Don’t get me wrong, I know the impact of positive images on kids, especially. It helps with their self-esteem and helps them see themselves as the hero versus the side-kick. So maybe Hollywood will begin to produce big budget movies and television shows that tell our stories from our perspectives. I’m sure that’s going to eventually have some positive impact.
But will this change the economic forecast which suggest that the Black median income is about half of that of Whites? Will the achievements of the movie transform our healthcare problems which consistently shows that the death rate for Blacks is generally higher than whites for heart diseases, stroke, cancer, asthma, influenza and pneumonia, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and homicide?
Will Black Panther’s success reduce the 34% Black prison population rate? I can go on and on about the state of Black America, but I think you get my drift that despite our individual successes, we still got lots of issues going on.
My point is that I don’t want us to get so caught up in the frenzy of this movie that we get distracted from the serious issues that plague our everyday lives.
I do, however, want this movie to ignite a new movement about our excellence and strength as a people.
How amazing would it be if we begin to collectively re-imagine our futures free from colonialism, mental slavery and build Wakandas all over the world?
Can you imagine what would happen if we realized how we can impact institutions the way we have impacted this movie?
I think 400 years of oppression is enough. Isn’t it time for us see ourselves on and off screen as the heroes we truly are?
The colonizers and imperialists won’t let us go without a fight. But if we stop fighting ourselves and each other, maybe that would be half the battle.
I don’t know. Maybe this is just a fantasy of a fantasy, but I’ll take it any day over our present reality.
Imagine what you can learn and how inspired you will be after visiting Haiti for yourself.
Registration is closing soon and you don’t want to miss it. May 23-29, 2018. It’s an amazing all-inclusive journey of culture, history and pride.
I want you there, so if you register before the end of February, you’ll get a $50 discount. Go to https://blackbutterflyjourneys.com/sacred-journey-retreat-haiti/ for details.
Questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org You don’t want to miss this!!!