Of course I saw Black Panther this past week.
Here are a few thoughts.
I left the cinema feeling proud.
Like the melanin in my skin was an opportunity.
I wondered why the person who technically saved the world was a white dude. One of the few in the movie. Really?! Wesley Snipes could have played that role. Or maybe Denzel Washington. Why was it cast the way it was?
I have heard that some rumblings on social media include encouraging non-Black people not to go so as “not to steal the Black people’s thunder” because “this is their time, their movie”. It amazes me how resistance can be cloaked and passed off as benevolence.
I spent 2.25 hours looking at a screen filled with Black people.
I felt like I had been bathed in possibility.
If you grew up in a predominantly Black country, this movie is likely not a big deal – you’ve lived it. But the impact for me who has grown up in North America (even though I have been in Caribbean countries), was comparable to coming up out of the Osgoode Subway station in Toronto during Caribana for the first time as a kid and being surrounded by a sea of Black people on University Avenue. Powerful. Awe inspiring. Comforting. Energizing. And Real.
I was home and surrounded by Blackness.
During this movie, I felt the same.
Imagine, for some people in North America, this is an everyday experience…
In this case I’m thinking about people who are white and have no lack of representation of themselves on screens, and in positions of power…
I felt taller when I left the theatre, imagine the impact of it on a daily basis.
And, I also came face-to-face with my bias.
I found myself experiencing disbelief about Wakonda, and the technology. I heard the “yeah right” in my mind as I watched. And then caught it. What about Star Wars and all the other superhero movies I have seen and during which I easily suspended my disbelief? What was different?
The only difference is that the creators of this world, in this movie, are Black. And my brain struggled to believe that it was possible. Even in fiction.
What a tangled web has been woven.
Go and see the movie.
Let it in.
And see what happens.