Updated: Feb 22, 2018
There are about a million reasons to love the movie Black Panther! Let's be real: the graphics were insane; the fashion by #ruthecarter looked so damn good it hurt; and the displays of #blacklove made my heart skip a beat. While I'll probably rant and rave about it for the rest of the year and throw up the #WakandaForever sign until I'm an old woman, there are three lines that stuck with me and I'm sure jumped out at a few of you.
FIRST OF ALL,(click the hyperlink for notebook) let me just say that mainstream media was long over due for not just a black super hero, but also a relatable black villain. While I can't tell you I agreed with all of the characters100%, I'd me lying if I told you I didn't understand each and every one of them, their rage, their love, and their choices. It's sort of bitter sweet, though. While it hurts to think that we grew up without a super-hero that looked like us, it also brings me great joy to know that the children of this generation will
have it and be shaped by it's presence.
"You Are A Good Man With A Good Heart, And It Is Hard For A Good Man To Be A King"- Baba
When in a position of power, is having a good heart really a limitation? While it is far too easy for folks to mistake that good heart for weakness from time to time, it isn't the good heart that's the problem. When you're faced with the decision of having to decide between yourself and the greater good, having a sour heart makes the decision a whole lot easier because there is nothing to consider.
In any position of power, you'll be faced with decisions that may not always be easy to make if you're truly someone who considers the well being of not only yourself but those around you. It is much harder to find compromising solutions when you're not the only one who matters. Although some decisions won't be as extreme as deciding on how to preserve the culture of an entire civilization while contributing to the well being of the rest of humanity, whatever it is, with a good heart it will require a lot more effort to sit in a position of responsibility.
"A Monster Of Our Own Making" - T'Chala
I think this one stuck out to me because I'm currently reading #TheHateYouGive by #AngieThomas. In the book she reminds us when Tupac told us that T.H.U.G.L.I.F.E. stood for, "The Hate You Give Little Infants, Fucks Everybody." Killamonger was that infant who suffered, not only systemic neglect but also neglect from his family, the people who were supposed to love and protect him in a society that already didn't give a shit about him. While his emotions were valid, his actions were the result of a collective failure. It really made me think of the responsibility we have to our children, and ask myself what I can do to soften the hearts of those infants/children that might have been dealt a shity hand in an already warped society? What can I do to soften the societal blows our children face every day?
"Burry Me In the Ocean With My Ancestors Who Jumped From Ships Because They Knew That Death Was Better Than Bondage." -Killmonger
Enslavement: mental, spiritual, or physical was far worst than death to many of our ancestors. What is your freedom worth to you? What are we willing to sacrifice for that freedom? While the Killmonger was bat shit crazy, you have to respect his rage, even if you despise his actions.
"Just Because Something Works Doesn't Mean It Can't Be Improved."-Shuri
Often times we become so complacent with the way things are that we stop advancing and moving forward. We simply forget to work on the improvement and functionality of something because it may be working for us now. This quote was a reminder that maybe I should be mindful of how frequently I use the saying "if it aint broke don't fix it." If used to hastily and without balance, it could the doorway to stagnation.
"Stand Up! YOU ARE A KING."-Baba
I know #Kendrick said be humble and all but.... FUCK THAT. When it's time for you to stand, don't you dare kneel. You better take your crown and act accordingly. As you advance to new levels and find yourself in positions where people are watching and depending on you to stand strong, do so and accept it with a knowingness. Always be willing to listen and accept advice worth taking, but stand in who you are or fall for the bullshit. FACTS
You Get To Decide What Kind of King You Want To Be"- Nakia
Growing up, we often look for examples on what kind of person we're "supposed to be." When we're children we look at our parents, friends and public figures for examples. This is part of the reason why it's important to have positive black figures like the ones we saw in Black Panther growing in mainstream media. But at a certain point in our lives, we have to thank those before us for the examples they set, take the wheel, and step into ourselves. At some point we get to step into who we are and configure who we'll be in any position we hold. We Decide!