This post: Especially the last line!
There is a humbling that comes with age. When you are young, you are on top of the world. YOU feel like you know so much, and others are not seeing clearly. My, how terribly mislead we were. A doing of our own nonetheless. You know the most humbling part? When we think people are not keen on patterns of behavior and they had to just watch us fail. When we think our plan is so fresh and new and effective, but it really is repetition considering the trajectory of lives before us. How blind were we that we couldn’t see and reason that those older than us know more? That maybe, we should listen. Have you ever thought to yourself, why didn’t I listen? We will say we have no regrets in life, but in reality we reflect on the what-ifs. I keep trying to pinpoint, what it was that made us think the way we did and ignore walking, living, breathing, real life examples of history. What was it that made us not heed to the wisdom of our elders.
Why was it that we hated those that were loving us?
I can say, it’s because it is what I wanted. Is this enough? What a sad and piss-poor reason. What did it cost us? It’s mind blowing to wrap my mind around our youth, but exhilarating at the same time. Exhilarating considering that if you used that strong-minded, push to do what you should, then greatness can be the only result.
19yr old…wild and obnoxious…I had a conversation the other day with a 19yr old and a 35yr old about patterns of behavior. I mention their ages because I wanted to show the gap in age. 16 years between them and their thoughts were concrete with their life experiences. Displaying patterns of behavior gets you certain places. Prison, a good job, an affluent life, a strong family, setbacks in life. It all connects with the choices you make and continue to make in life. I hate the ‘ it just happens’ or ‘things just got away from me’ type of excuses. The ‘before we knew it’ type of excuses. I have a genuine fear of hitting 40 with nothing to show for it. I also know in my youth I displayed patterns of behavior that accounts for why I don’t have what I should now. I try to hold myself accountable for all my actions. I see and is an example of making serious poor life choices. I also see and is an example of someone trying to turn things around. I just find it interesting how we don’t see ourselves following patterns of behavior and not act on a change. I understand becoming a product of your environment. I still wonder why this happens without resistance. I also know doing the right thing is hard. I also know you will get assistance when you decide to play fair in life. I just find it odd, how, we can’t see the end of a certain story; the same story repeated many times. How much we think our end will be different. It’s scary to think, ‘man, if I had just listened. Why did I think I knew it all’.
It’s scarier to watch someone not listen….cycling.
I had a hard flashback moment today. It was to the pain I felt during childbirth. I was brought back to the operating table and was feeling it when they made the incision in my lower abdomen. I could feel the pain again but pulled myself out of the thought. I remember screaming ‘Tam, they’re trying to kill me’ and saying ‘OW, it hurts!’. After that I was ‘out’. I would have liked it someone was telling me what they were doing as they went on, but it was a very painful, confusing time. I was ‘put under’ after all my yelling but I don’t remember much else. As I thought about this all today, I thought wow, this is how women die. In my most vulnerable moment, I couldn’t speak to say if anything was happening to me, such as shortness of breath or heart palpitations. I just know it is an experience I never want again. Though bittersweet, as I do want another child. I’m just hoping it can be a VBAC. I tell myself all the time that I’m going to be so much better in my next pregnancy. I’m going to eat well, drink more water, manage my iron and haemoglobin issues better. I’m going to be more prepared. More vocal, more involved in my delivery. I’m going to speak up more. I tell myself all these things but know once reality hits, ‘get the baby out safely’ will be my only focus. No one else will matter. That’s how it was with my son. No form of dilation was happening, and the only peace came with feeling my water break. I think that will be the difference in my next birth. An environment with warm water. A dredge for my tingling veins and disturbed body. It is the least I can do for pushing my body to do what it needs to before it’s ready. Birth is a very natural process, a severely underrated sentiment. The effects on the body is extremely life altering and has continues for years. Yet, that is hardly discussed! There is so much care needed for the mother but no one ever remembers this. My first birth felt somewhat like a plunge. Somewhat procedural, done on rotations or rounds. I don’t want that again. If I do have to be induced, I want to labor in the comfort of my safe, peaceful home. If my health allows, this would make me extremely happier and calmer for delivery. In reality, a hospital birth saved my life, but we weren’t prepared for the process at all. Looking back, we were too ‘limp’. No matter how many birth stories, YouTube videos and TLC’s ‘A Baby story” I watched, it was extremely too new and unlike anything we’ve ever been through. I want to be prepared to deal with it all, especially the doctors and nurse.
I’ve realized too, the older I get, that people are weird. You really must advocate for yourself and your body. There really are people so self-absorbed and miserable in the health field that do no deserve to be there. They give sub-par treatment despite it being YOUR worst moments. I want to be somewhat prepared for it all!
‘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’….
As for my notes:
- ‘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.
- 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.
- I thought I saw Michael Blackson as an extra, turns out it wasn’t him. No shade, just saying.
- 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.
- ‘Don’t freeze when you see her’-Okoye. He did freeze. We understood why. We’d freeze too.
- The first sight of Wakanda, my jaw dropped. This is possible and it was magnificent.
- 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.
- 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!
- M’Baku. Winston Duke. Helllo!
- 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*
- ‘Prove yourself and fight like a man’. Ok, so we gotta scrap. That’s our way for reals.
- Array of women shown. One of them MUST look like you!
- An array of African people shown, history and culture galore. Plenty of potential Google searches so you can learn something.
- ‘You’re going to struggle, so you need to surround yourself with people you trust’-T’Chaka. Parenting 101. Seriously.
- ‘This ridiculous thing’-Okoye regarding her wig. To each their own and to each their own level of visible tracks. #thatisall
- You CAN sniff out Americans ANYWHERE. Zero chill.
- ‘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.
- 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’.
- 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!
- ‘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.
- ‘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.
- ‘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.
- ‘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.
- ‘Don’t scare me like that colonizer’-Shuri to Ross. I CACKLED! Unapologetic and she knows HIS rank and her history.
- ‘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.
- 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.
- ‘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.
- ‘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.
- ‘Destabilize foreign countries’- Colonization main outcome. Too many foreign investments, too little local attention.
- ‘First king to come here in centuries and you speak of US’-M’Baku-T’Challa- Because UNITY-THERE IS STRENGTH IN NUMBERS.
- 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.
- Excellent black fathers. Yes, T’Chaka did desert his brother’s son, for the most part there were no typical stereotypes (thank goodness).
- ‘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!
- ‘ 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Refugees coming in with their troubles is a genuine concern. Sorry.
- Killmonger could have done great things as he knows the pain of the people.
- 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.
Should you find a minute, to pay your respects to a queen!
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