Wakanda Forever….

‘You can attempt to imitate, but soul you cannot buy’-Amanda Seales


When I feel compelled to write these days, I try to have a pen and paper close by to catch my thoughts. As such, I brought some post-it notes and a pencil with me so that I would not forget a lot of things. My brother in Atlanta video called me as my hubby and I were in the theatre. He and his family were on their way to see Black Panther as well. At the end of the call, without saying a word, we all held up our fists-it was our ‘sign out’. I felt right in my spirit but a bit nervous that the naysayers would be right, that the film is over-hyped. What I know for sure follows….

Hard truth? This movie made me want to do my Googles about Africa. The real Africa. Every depiction was represented well. We genuinely do not know much about Africa or Africans. A group of boys in front of us died laughing every time they showed the Mursi/Chai/Tirma lip plate. African history is lost on the youth. I’m way behind too. This show was beautifully written and pretty! I said ‘You see that?’ way too many times!

My review might be lengthy, simply because of my colour and what representation means to me and what this film represented. First off, this movie represented every kind of black people there is out there. None of them are thrown away, even when they are on their face. We as a community stands UNIFIED. The Meek Mill/Drake beef is a great example, we joined in and laughed at the ‘Ls’ but we speak out and advocate for the ‘homie’ to be out of prison. We speak about unity the most, next to the LGBT community. In our hard times, we are very quick to congregate and know to lean on our brothers and sisters. This is hereditary, slaves were not allowed to congregate but it was in our nature to come together. Our strength, is in our numbers. I keep repeating this because the ‘colonizers’ are the minority in the world, yet new racial issues are given birth every day.  As for Black Panther, that is the central theme, unity.

Killmonger was not wrong and his life experience cannot be brushed off as it is real out there! It’s his approach is what was damming. This is common for a lot those we refer to online as ‘ hoteps’.  T’Challa was perfectly right, It isn’t in our nature to war, that is the conquerors way. M’baku holds his own and do not interfare but knows that there is strength when forces of good are joined to take down evil. W’Kabi is just a man that wants change, a weary man who made poor decisions. The symbolism of the constant meeting of tribes made me look at how much we fight against each other. Though we do not ravage nations and strip them of their culture, we also do not come together in this way anymore. Power, money, material things and ego boosting comes first. This country has to always have the best of the best. There is a them over there and we over here mentality. I wish I could see more unity for progressive movements and not just in times of misery. We will always have each others back, but do we also pull each other up with us? There was a lot of talk about ‘our way’ and this resonates within black families as our strong matriarchs teach us right from wrong. There are obvious lost causes as mentioned in the show but nothing instills fear to do right like most black mothers.  I dare not use ‘black sheep’ as ‘black’ has enough stigmas attached to it. However, the efficiency of Wakanda made me feel like we could do so much more as a people.

On the plus side, this might be the era for change. Why? We are being represented differently on the media. The same media that controls everything we feel, think, hear and presume about everything and everyone in the world. The same media that only accepted a certain standardized image for representing races. The Stepin Fetchits are a thing of the past, thanks to Black-ish for putting me on. The same media that reach the masses by sensationalizing the news and continue to throw statistics up that scare our mothers. The same media that for years would allow one race to play many, no matter how horrible the characters looked. The same media, that pushes unrealistic, unnatural social ideals and images. This which we ‘lose’ many of our people over. That one image was to represent us all and so that was our aim and we tried in many ways, neglecting our roots. This is why representation matters. The upcoming generation can turn on their TVs and go online and see people just like the ones their parents tell them they could be. Even if you are stubborn as an ox, our representation on the public sphere is changing. There now is someone you can connect to. As odd as it sounds, we are the only race that calls ourselves kings and queens. This movie comes out with the exact thing we imagine ourselves to be and we need our children to see it. We need our impressionable teens to see it. We need our elders to see it and know their message is not lost. As for those who won’t support because the profits line the pockets of those who call Barbados -Bar-BAH-Dos, give us some time. We do not own the means to produce on these scales. Black people however are getting their time to represent….

An extra special shout out to the black women in this film. All of them represented us well. They all spoke up and were respected for their brain work. I could easily say that’s so and so eh and that’s my cousin. I see so much of my friends and aunts, sis-in-laws and mothers in these characters. Nakia was subtle and efficient and Okoye was strong and loyal. Ramonda was doting and open. Shuri was passionate and unapologetic. They all knew their strength and the fact that you cannot accept the status quo. They worked along side their men without needing to stroke their egos or use seduction. As equals. Mind powered and forward thinking. Listened to and accepted. They challenged their men, and they fell, knowing their goal is the same. There wasn’t a doubt in trust because they loved their selves first. Black women continued to be the backbone of society, ‘keeping the tempo’….


Not all heroes wear capes… Black Panther notes….

As for my notes:

  1. ‘Keeping the truth about this power from the outside world’- T’Challa. Listen to me, this applies to all facets of life. Business, relationships, friendships, culture, academia, language, love. Unless you know for sure and accept people for who they are and be assertive, there will only be loss.
  2. Motherf&^@in Sterling K. Brown. I literally said YESS when I saw him on the screen. Every scene he was in I listened intently with my listening face (the ugly one lol). I did not want to miss a drop of this man acting skills. He was a great introduction to this film and I just feel like there are so many great things in store for this man.
  3. I thought I saw Michael Blackson as an extra, turns out it wasn’t him. No shade, just saying.
  4. There were so many keen ways that they addressed so many social issues. One of them was with the child soldiers reality of being forced to do wrongs. In this same scene was a reference to Boka Haram and the kidnapping of girls! In same scene, once released, they were told to take the boy with them as his acting against his will. There wasn’t one dispute, which speaks to how quickly black people will forgive.
  5. ‘Don’t freeze when you see her’-Okoye. He did freeze. We understood why. We’d freeze too.
  6. The first sight of Wakanda, my jaw dropped. This is possible and it was magnificent.
  7. In black history, description of artifacts, representation in museums, there are ‘white experts’ just like this woman. I don’t mean South Africans either, I mean those who leave their countries (follow me) and observe the way of life and culture of the people (follow me camera). They ‘collect’ artifacts and ‘donate’ them to museums (sound like a Columbus cycle, right?). Here’s the best part, these symbols are showcased as being from an ‘uncivilized’ world and ‘the white expert’ interpretation of what these artifacts mean is what is fed to us and our children on field trips. There are some Rockefeller ‘donations’ at The Met in New York right now. They are in the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas section. I did not read all of the description, but knowing a lot of black history, I didn’t need to.
  8. So many able bodied eye candy. The only word that came to mind was STRENGTH. So many strong, sexy backs (NOT JT style), literal back muscles. Hello black men!
  9. M’Baku. Winston Duke. Helllo!
  10. I YouTubed that Chest-boobie dance done during the challenges and did it until I summoned the Black Panther, who then asked me to chill. *shrug*
  11. ‘Prove yourself and fight like a man’. Ok, so we gotta scrap. That’s our way for reals.
  12. Array of women shown. One of them MUST look like you!
  13. An array of African people shown, history and culture galore. Plenty of potential Google searches so you can learn something.
  14. ‘You’re going to struggle, so you need to surround yourself with people you trust’-T’Chaka. Parenting 101. Seriously.
  15. ‘This ridiculous thing’-Okoye regarding her wig. To each their own and to each their own level of visible tracks. #thatisall
  16. You CAN sniff out Americans ANYWHERE. Zero chill.
  17. ‘Please don’t make me listen to your music’-Ross to Klaue. We’re with you Ross.…again Americans only eh. They’re all in the comments on Insta/Twitter dropping links to their Soundclouds. It’s maddening.
  18. Klaue repeatedly talked about the people of Wakanda being savages, not deserving of their blessings. This is a conditioning from forefathers and the exact reason for D.Trump to behave the way he does. Now, this generation has taken back this term and it’s currently used as slang. While I’m not sure if that’s a good thing, now it doesn’t just mean black people. It means a lot of things, followed by a ‘lol’.
  19. Nakia driving barefoot was so real! Tastefully done, so it wasn’t associated with the fact that we are always barefoot. More of a nod to Africans, islanders always running around barefoot because it’s just more comfortable. I’m sure people didn’t realise that she was in the streets this way as well. This speaks to the goal of the film, and the directing. This was done not to be a race baiter, just to be relatable!
  20. ‘The whole world watches’-Nakia to the Black Panther mid annihilation of Klaue. Bystander effect. Black Mirror-Black Museum (Hi Letitia/Shuri) & White Bear episode. The obsession with getting ‘that’ footage is blowing minds. The conscious acceptance of ourselves is based on what we post that gets the most likes. We continue to strive to top that fragmented self.
  21. ‘Diplomacy’-Ross to T’Challa. THIS is what politicians use to rob you and tell you your acting out is wrong. It isn’t, people just hate being challenged loudly so it draws attention.
  22. ‘While we chased the gold rush…The golden city was in Africa the whole time’-Klaue to Ross. Colonizers gotta ‘colonate’. There is no shame in the colonizers game. Stealing is their way of life, they taught other races that. They also taught other horrible skills and used religion as a mask as a way to ‘save’ you.
  23. ‘More of the same’-W’Kabi to T’Challa after expressing his disgust with him not capturing Klaue and bringing him to justice. Who really like their government? lmao. This again, is how politics is. There is also the flip side, that unplanned things happen that derail the best strategies. There will always be disappointment in leadership.
  24. ‘Don’t scare me like that colonizer’-Shuri to Ross. I CACKLED! Unapologetic and she knows HIS rank and her history.
  25. ‘Didn’t life start here on your continent, so isn’t all people your people?’-Can’t remember. People knows the truth about Africa. Africans just aren’t allowed to tell it. They’ve been ‘shushed’ for centuries and we’ve been conditioned to not listen to them.
  26. Visits to ancestral pain is needed for healing. We pour one for the dead homies and say things like ‘ they would be here right now’. We also say ‘if they were alive this could/would not be happening’. When they ‘dream us’ we feel so refreshed and calm. These visits takes us back for us to see whether we are lost or is honoring a legacy.
  27. ‘No tears for me?’ ‘Everybody dies, that is just life around here’-Killmonger to his dad (SKB). That is life for black Americans that have to watch police brutality videos so much, we can’t watch anymore. It is the life for those in clusters for low-income people. It is also presented in the media in areas occupied by a particular race. Gentrification is the foil on this issue.
  28. ‘The fear of our discovery stops us from doing what is right’-this is because we do not hold the power and we know it.
  29. ‘Destabilize foreign countries’- Colonization main outcome. Too many foreign investments, too little local attention.
  30. ‘First king to come here in centuries and you speak of US’-M’Baku-T’Challa- Because UNITY-THERE IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS.
  31. Okoye and W’Kabi. She could do better, her choice is not ideal but HE knows he will LOSE her because she knows her worth. He knew to not call her bluff. W’Kabi kneeling to Okoye shows that trust in relationships is so important. It all became a very confusing battle for him and he knew she was right and he surrendered. A lot times men will continue on their stubborn way before ever giving in to what a women says.
  32. Excellent black fathers. Yes, T’Chaka did desert his brother’s son, for the most part there were no typical stereotypes (thank goodness).
  33. ‘Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from ships. They knew death was better than bondage.’- Killmonger to T’Challa. Happy Black History Month!
  34. ‘ For the FIRST TIME IN HISTORY, WE WILL BE SHARING OUR KNOWLEDGE WITH THE WORLD’-T’Challa in his address. I would have added willingly somewhere there, but I’m petty.
  35. When M’Baku shut Ross down in his Kingdom a lot of people laughed. I shook my head. Caucasians are KNOWN to speak out of place. They are KNOWN for feeling like they need to speak all the time about everything. Those passive-aggressive statements that are coming from the bile in their gallbladder are their daggers. They do not know how to let people be. Get trapped with one in an elevator, you will lose your mind.
  36. I appreciate that the presence of Ross throughout the film was not overly abused. They did not portray him as needed for saving Wakanda or made him seem less of a person. He was in his own lane, we all have value.
  37. Refugees coming in with their troubles is a genuine concern. Sorry.
  38. Killmonger could have done great things as he knows the pain of the people.
  39. EVERYONE and their mother is talking about the role of Black Women in this film. Uhhmmm… they have ALWAYS been this powerful!! They’ve also always had your back and the ones to pick up the slack! They have always been out here working and instilling that discipline! If their roles impressed you, good! If it shocked you, sad.


I love observing immigrants. It is my weird thing. I just love their take on culture shock and seeing how they cope. They move with such caution, light footed. Their choices are so tied to so many things. It is almost a burden. We are so lucky to be in a country were compassion is natural response. As much as coming to this country was scary and had difficult moments surrounding navigating the systems in place; I cannot say migrating has been something to regret. I blame that solely on how I assimilated. Also, the birth of a Canadian-born child. You see, if you moved here with children from another country, they will be subdued and burdened with things a child shouldn’t. When you have a child in the country you migrated to, they almost seem to cruise through life. We find ourselves shaking our head at the simplicity and ease of my son’s life. This caused me to compare the resolve within that never truly let’s us settle. This isn’t our home, but it is his. He will never have to learn to assimilate and will naturally thrive in certain situations. This will be worse, once he goes through the various systems that span his life cycle.  No internal battle to attach himself to Canadian ways or to hold on to his ‘first culture’. A lot of immigrants become so stuck in their ‘first culture’, they refuse to adapt to the ways of their new world. Irresponsibly imparting certain views in a tolerant environment. Carelessly handling themselves in a way that makes them think their ‘first culture’ is an excuse. Recklessly throwing away all the sacrifices and investments made to pave the way. I say all this to say, assimilation is so important.

A lot of people think to leave their home country for a better life, but never check the culture of where they’re going. What is common place in the corporate world? How loose or strict are certain industries (of interest)? Something as simple as understanding what a ‘scent free’ environment is, knowing a sharp fragrance is a part of being fully dressed. You will have to go back to school. Period. Even to do a ‘small’ course. Are you open to learning and formal education again? Are you ok with ‘play-based’ learning for your children? The concept of free public schools may be new and seem like a relief, but can you accept limited say in your child’s education? If religious, how would you navigate the LGBT curricula that is taught in public schools? How would you handle private school tuition, knowing as an immigrant you won’t necessarily get a high-paying job right away? It is imperative to consider residences and learn about surrounding communities. Child-rearing will fall heavily on parents and a daycare provider. Are you keen on the cost both financially and mentally to get an older relative to come and help instill your values and morals? Are you prepared to leave your children for hours with someone who looks nothing like you? Are you aware of the political practices where you’re going? Is there civil conflict, uprisings or mistreatment of those marginalized? What are their considerations around health and healthcare?  What do their people look like? No, really, intersectionality creates clusters of people and what they look like is very important. Where is your community located and what are their social stats? What about social programs and views on community support? Who gets respect? Will your qualifications mean anything? Can you promise yourself that you will seek to manage your mental health when faced with coercion from societal pressure? Are you racist and known to discriminate? There is also more interracial dating because the culture of those who grow up or is born here is wholly Canadian with references to their parents’ culture. They do not live by their parents’ culture with reference to Canadian mores, no matter how much parents speak their language, take their kids to visit ‘back home’ or inundate them with stories of past times. Can you accept interracial relationships? Can you child marry who they please? Are you a person that will experience a language barrier? This will affect how far you get ahead in the corporate world, so can you learn a new language at your age? Immigrant health is known to decline over the years, what is your coping plan? What will you do when you are homesick? Do you laugh a lot and often, or know how to at all? You will have so many moments when you don’t know whether to laugh or cry. I say all this to say, research and prepare yourself so that you can assimilate, as this is non-negotiable when it comes to survival.


No Parent Coach

I wish more people would decline to give parenting advice. The stigma around the very presence of children is so telling! We see the annoyed looks on your faces and that twisted smile. There is nothing wrong with saying, ‘I can’t say because I’m not sure myself’. Saying, ‘my situation is a bit different’ is acceptable too. It’s perfectly fine to just keep quiet as well. It just gnaws at me when people who do not celebrate their children tell others not to have any. It physically pains me when people say ‘they ruin your life’. No, you ruined your own life with your choices and is now inflicting this irresponsibility on an innocent being. Do not tell people to not have kids because you don’t want any. Don’t speak against children knowing you want them but just haven’t found the right ‘situation’. I completely understand times where children are born into situations that end up changing. As a product of a single parent home, I know it’s extremely hard. Hats off to all of you! I’m referring to those who were told their partner doesn’t want children, lays bare to procreate then find themselves in a ‘rut’. I’m speaking to those who birthed a child out of a convenient relationship and is miserable with being grounded. Do not fix your mouth to tell people children are a nightmare, when you couldn’t control yourself long enough to use protection. I’m also referring to those who have multiple children, inflict all sorts of abuse on them and have the nerve to say they ‘messed up’.When I was pregnant and about to go off on mat leave, I had lunch with my manager and he blatantly told me he has no advice for me. I made a face naturally and he laughed and said seriously, ‘I’ have no advice for ‘YOU’. Of course, I called out his unfairness because he had recently become a father and could have imparted so much knowledge on me knowing what ‘this thing’ is going to be like. He was quite bemused with my pressing, as his statement was simple. Simple, but weighted. The only other thing he said was that I should do what’s best for my child and don’t listen to anyone. I shot him another side eye as his mother was a prominent figure in his child’s life. I let him have that one, as much as I wanted to know more.

FB post by SM 01-22-2018

When we had our son and came to grips with PARENTING a child, not babysitting or tolerating one, I got it. When I went back to work, we had lunch again. He was smiling from ear to ear and so was I this time. We talked about the antiquated ways of child-rearing and all that I had escaped by doing things our way. I trusted him and would have listened to his advice; this stranger to MY child. We learned about our child and we cared for and led him with our choices. Everyone was happy. When I told my cousin I hadn’t read any books she was in a rage and sent me title after title of all the popular stuff; we politely declined. Months later when I attempted to find a solution with a popular site I felt like the one thing I was looking for wasn’t there. The one word to connect my issues to a solution wasn’t there. Why? Nothing in parenting is cookie cut; it’s ever-changing. Every time I had posted my issues on mommy boards on Facebook, I was rewarded with comments filled with nuggets of gold. All ending with ‘THAT’S what worked for US’, MAYBE it will for you. A small side-eye there as I thought if it worked it worked, what’s the deal? The more we dealt with and overcame, the more I got it. How can someone else tell you what will work for you or your child when they have never met the child? When they are born, you the parent don’t know their ways and cannot bend them to follow someone else’s routine. In a room with 10 people, 10 of them will be different; kids are exactly the same. Here’s another thought, in a room with 10 people, 10 of them will be from a different situation. Same. There are no super parents and it is perfectly ok to hate being a parent. Be honest about your experience though. Decline to offer advice when you know your ‘situation’ comes with circumstances! Don’t tell people to not have kids when you have 4 with 4 partners and consider time with any of your children as babysitting. Do not have children with someone who does not want any and blame them for a failed relationship. For the love of God kids will not save your relationship, but pit you against each other and teach your children horrible relationships are acceptable. Finally, a single parent experience may seem to be 10 times worse than a 2 parent household, but unless both parents are involved, its one and the same!

Nouveau Personnel….

For the past 3 days I have been laughing hysterically. The first day, I enjoyed myself thoroughly but made a mental note to not enjoy things too much. Most recently, the trajectory of my life has been on a winding road and so I knew to not give in to relief quite yet. The second day I braced for impact. That could have been a fluke. Nought! It was another great night of laughing until my stomach hurt. It felt so good to be working among people with so much spirit and light. We weren’t laughing maliciously at anyone, just the everyday mundane nuances of life. Somehow, common conversations can be so different with different people. I felt like these people were angels in a hard time of need. I felt like they were building me back up and I’m being transported to the next stage of life. A Kintsugi.  I had a moment tonight when I looked back on myself around Oct./Nov of last year and felt so good in my heart. I was so close to landing in therapy and here I was, happy again. I was chill, calm and free flowing again. There were a few times in my life when I met angels like these that lifted me up and I made sure to tell them how they blessed me feel. My shoulders rocked and my neck tightened at how much we laughed with each other. Harmoniously expressing shock when ever one said something so outrageous that baring teeth was the only answer. Strangers to me, being medicine to a hard round of depression; a cold time. I felt grateful. These people were so happy and it was so contagious. Even though I am new, I naturally was reserved and observant, but they kept talking to me. I had no choice but to speak back. It was as if they unintentionally, but collectively, worked to not make me feels at odds. I was never knocked down once, but instead welcomed by all. It made me realize how extreme personalities were and the fact that people can be so awful. They can also be really pure and open, baring their souls everyday. I felt so happy to speak freely among like minds whose favorite thing in the world is to laugh. A seasonal role I had concluded this week and not once did I feel sad about it. My silver lining kept me on track and I focused on the fact that I was gainfully employed again. This time with an amazing group of humans. I chalked it up to first impressions and continued to be vigilant. That was until I noticed that even in disagreements, there was laughter and patience and kindness and questions, not accusations. There was teasing, eye-rolling, deep sighs and side eyes, but none were held on to and most certainly met with a smile. This was introductory but everyone shared tidbits about their most prized possessions-their families and were not afraid to ask questions respectfully. As a creature of habit, in my quiet moments I inhaled and exhaled deeply a couple times to center myself and found there was no urgency to have to do that. My spirit was not crossed or on the edge of nerves and I was grateful I could be me. When they teased me, I felt okay and laughed at how well they nailed my disposition! This made me feel predictable, but also safe to be myself, as their openness told me they did not deem me a threat. So refreshing! I worried about missing time with my son and not being there as much as I was these past few months. However, It is with great joy that I return to a place of work, like I have many times before in past jobs. This time with absolutely no regrets about how I moved on prior. Angels are always placed neatly where we need them, compelled to give us exactly what we need, floating and taking you to dance to the beat of their hearts.