Something has changed within me. Something is not the same.
The first time I saw BLACK PANTHER, I wanted to shout from the rooftops about the magnificence that is this film. I yearned to tell everyone I met to stop what they’re doing and go to the movie theater asap. And yet, I knew that it was not my voice which needed to be heard. There were others who were affected on a level I do not claim to know.
For though I would stick out like a sore thumb in Wakanda, the pride for country and culture leapt off the screen and soaked into my spirit. I thought about the ones who came before and continue to impart wisdom. My ancestors originated from European Nations, though my grandmother strongly claimed we had Native American roots, and as I sat enthralled by the trials Wakanda faced (internal and external) I thought once again about the struggles and Sins of My Ancestors.
I am proud of my heritage for it led me here, however, I am cognizant of the reality that the color of my skin and that of my ancestors gives me a perspective spotted by privilege.
A WRINKLE IN TIME changed my life as a child – becoming the book that helped define my imaginative nature and love of creative writing. I recall so vividly sitting on my bed in the suburbs, the second eldest of four daughters, and seeing the words on the page form into pictures in my imagination. It touched me on not just a physical level but a spiritual one as well, and to this day Madeleine L’Engle’s series remain the example of what beautiful, imaginative, inspiring literature can do.
BLACK PANTHER awakened hope, beauty, grace, and empowerment; A WRINKLE IN TIME kept the awakening strong, realizing the power of diversity realized. As T’Challa passed through Wakanda’s hidden borders it broke through mine as well; my vision cleared and my soul rejoiced. As Meg journeyed through fantastical worlds and discovered the power of self-confidence and self-love, waves of colorful energy kissed my soul. I looked over at my young niece and hoped she felt it too.
As I sat in the theater for each film, I thought of all the people (especially children) seeing films that featured heroes who looked like them. I smiled so wide that my cheeks hurt and my eyes watered.
I am proud to know that my nieces, nephews, and their children’s children will live in world where people from all ethnicities, genders, orientations, and racial identifications are represented – in every industry. I don’t only pray, dream, or wish it to be so. I have faith in humanity. With beauty, love, grace, and truth we will celebrate our differences while uniting in a shared experience. We will make this world, and the souls that call it home, better than we found it.
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