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.
This is how seeing the Black Panther movie makes me feel. There’s a wind in the air… a sense of, “something big is happening”. You can tell by the box office records it has broken in just two weeks. At the time of this writing, the movie has made more than $727 million dollars world wide (and it still hasn’t opened in certain international markets yet!)
A BRIDGE CREATED
This movie has bridged the age and ethnicity gaps between many people. At a store I asked the cashier (who was black and I had never met), “Have you seen Black Panther yet?” She had to wait a few more days to see it. But that one question sparked a great conversation.
A friend stopped by the other day to drop off a package and we ended up having a twenty minute conversation about Black Panther. After seeing the movie for the third time, I struck up a conversation with the white guy sitting next to me in the theater. We both were passionate about the film and were excited about where things were heading with the May release of Avengers: Infinity War.
Everywhere I go, someone has been talking about Black Panther. Forums are taking place as people come together to discuss its impact, not only on pop culture but also on its historical relevance to the African American community and the world at large. I’ve watched interviews and read great articles about the film. The article by Jamil Smith, in Time magazine did an excellent job explaining the historical significance of the movie.
Yes, something is in the air. A revolution or an awakening of sorts. And I’m not sure what to do about it. So, I am doing what I know how to do: write.
A FAVORITE SCENE
Let me share one of my favorite scenes from the film:
Okoye: Speaking in her native Wakandan language to T’Challa.
CIA Agent Ross: “Does she speak english?”
Okoye: “When she wants to.”
I LOVE this scene because it demonstrates (very quickly) that educating yourself gives you options in life. In fact, the movie, as a whole, displays this truth. And as the movie ends, with T’Challa and Shuri talking with the Oakland kids, it also shows that educating others multiplies all of our options!
So, the two questions for all of us is this:
1. Now that we’ve seen Black Panther, what do we do?
2. How can we take the truth that is presented in the film and put it into concrete action?
Let me know what you think. #WakandaForever
-Allen Paul Weaver III-