Wakanda Forever: Part 10 – Yes We Can!
So, here we are at the end of this 10-part movie review. My original intent was to write 1-3 posts on various issues Black Panther raises, but compulsion overtook me!
Why do I love this movie so much? What’s this sense of euphoria, this sense of excitement, possibility, hope and pride? I had felt this before a few years back, but couldn’t nail down when exactly that was. It took a few days to mull it over and then it hit me while talking with my wife:
“The last time I felt like this was when Barack Obama ran for president the first time!”
That sense of ‘Yes We Can!’ was almost tangible. Before then, the political system seemed defunct. But when Obama ran, I felt like I was a part of a movement that was much bigger than me. My vote mattered. Change was possible. Read more... (601 words, 2 images, estimated 2:24 mins reading time)
Wakanda Forever: Part 8 – We Are One Tribe
If you left as soon as the credits started rolling at the end of #BlackPanther, then you missed two additional scenes which help to set up Avengers: Infinity War, which releases in May. The first additional scene, which will be talked about in this post is of the Wakandan delegation visiting the United Nations.
King T’Challa, Nakia, Okoye and Ayo, take the stage in front of a packed auditorium of eager participants. T’Challa speaks about opening Wakanda up to the world. Here is part of what he says:
“Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We can not. We must not. We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.” Read more... (1477 words, 1 image, estimated 5:54 mins reading time)
Wakanda Forever: Part 6 – Ancestor Worship and the Bible
The #BlackPanther movie showcased the spirituality of the people of Wakanda. I believe this aspect of the story shows how important it is to remember that we stand on the shoulders of those who came before us. No one is a “self-made” person. We all have a past which stretches back to our ancestors and we should honor their legacy. However, honoring those who came before us and worshipping them are two different things altogether.
A DIFFERENT LENS
As a Christian watching Black Panther, ancestor worship was a point of contention for me. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I rely on the Bible as the final authority about the nature of physical and spiritual reality. It is the “lens” through which I try to view the world. The teachings of Jesus Christ (who-as an aside- is not white) is of the utmost importance to me. So, I hold to be true what the Scriptures say about life (how we are to live) and death (what happens after our earthly life is over). Read more... (2675 words, 1 image, estimated 10:42 mins reading time)
Wakanda Forever: Part 4 – What Could Have Been…
It’s Sunday night: At the time of this writing, I’ve just come back from seeing Black Panther for the 3rd time since its opening two days ago. The first time I went with my wife and godmother. The second with some friends from church. The third with my parents. Each time has been a great and unique experience, primarily because each audience has been different and responds slightly different. Also, with each viewing, I notice more of the story by picking up dialogue I previously missed and by paying attention to what is happening in the background of a scene instead of the foreground.
A UNIQUE PERSPECTIVE Read more... (1226 words, 2 images, estimated 4:54 mins reading time)
Wakanda Forever: Part 3 – The Tragedy of Disconnection
Click here to read Part 2 or Part 1 of this multi-part movie review.
WARNING: there is a minor spoiler in this particular review.
Marvel Studios’ Black Panther movie is a treasure chest of a story. One gem in particular which is at the heart of this treasury is a cautionary tale about what can happen when a person is disconnected from their heritage and the relationships which help to define it.
TWO SIDES OF THE SAME COIN
Both T’Challa (protagonist) and Erik Killmonger (antagonist) have been disconnected from their fathers (and by extension their heritage). However, T’Challa has a community and an entire nation which helps him reconnect to who he is and who he is destined to become. On the other hand, Erik Killmonger, who grew up in the ‘hood, has no one and nothing to fall back on but himself. He has a piece of his heritage, but he grows in isolation, warping what he does know into something else entirely. Read more... (1110 words, 1 image, estimated 4:26 mins reading time)
Wakanda Forever: Part 2 – Black Is Beautiful
Click here to read Part 1 of my multi-part Black Panther Movie Review. More to share in the coming weeks!
AN UNEXPECTED THOUGHT
And so it hits me as I’m watching #BlackPanther for the 2nd time on opening day. Sitting in a packed theater with friends & people of all ethnicities, watching T’Challa and Nakia sit on the side of a mountain. They are sharing intimately about a subject matter that’s usually reserved for white characters. At that moment, they both became more beautiful to me. The entire movie became more beautiful to me with its vast array of ebony characters. Africa became more beautiful. Read more... (288 words, 1 image, estimated 1:09 mins reading time)
Wakanda Forever: Part 1 – What Our Generation Needs
Black Panther is the movie that our generation needs right now. It is a movie of historic proportions. I am not going to give away any spoilers in this review. But before I get into the film, let me share an experience:
A PERSONAL EXPERIENCE
In 2003 I visited Ghana, West Africa. Actually, it was my very first time on the continent and when my feet left the airplane steps and touched African soil, I suddenly had a feeling I couldn’t explain… I was “home.” How could I feel “home” in a place I had never physically visited before? I still don’t know how to explain it. Perhaps there’s something in the collective consciousness of a people who were stripped from their motherland. But, while sitting in the theater watching Black Panther, there were scenes which caused me to have a feeling very similar to that first visit to Ghana. Read more... (727 words, 1 image, estimated 2:54 mins reading time)