Wednesday, February 28, 2018

I Get It

 Actually, I've always hated the limited value many Blacks placed on their history, culture and even  themselves.
I hated that many Blacks would still identify more with slaves than those who fought against oppression.

(People still trip that we maintain a small patch of cotton on the family farm.
During summers, my father would join family members in picking cotton to take to market so that they could buy school clothes and supplies.
(I picked one piece, just once, so that I could say that I had picked cotton.)
But these were/are family farms in Louisiana - most were/are owned by the Black inhabitants.
Picking cotton was a necessary chore required to generate income.
There was no shame in picking cotton.
And just because I had actually picked cotton - I was never a slave.)

one movie cannot solve the inferiority-complex many Blacks seem to have nor will it change the minds of those who still imagine that Zipporah looked like Yvonne de Carlo in The Ten Commandments.
But Black Panther is a step in the right direction.

I had to laugh when Atlanta's Hartsfield  jokingly posted departure times leaving for Wakanda.
But at least it wasn't Soul Plane.

Black Panther may just be the right movie at the right time.
The Black Power/Civil Rights movement, the belief in The Talented Tenth, Nat Turner and as far back as (and before) Chrispus Attucks - there have been Black men of volition who wanted better for themselves and others like them.

Actually, I like the vernacular fashion in the film.
We've come a long way from Zumunda to Wakanda - from the jewelry that looked like they raided the fancy cheese section at their local Gelson's in Coming to America to the more historically correct costumes in BP

BP shows this generation that one does not have to be unattractive, fat or coonish in order to be smart.
Shuri is a smart, clever (not cartoonishly silly), attractive and she could probably still kick your ass.
In the age of Neil Degrasse Tyson, there is no need to portray Black nerds as Urkel. (Well, Degrasse Tyson does kind-of come across as a grown up Urkel.).
I'm sure there are plenty of smart Black people who can still throw them hands (yet still be likeable).

Black on Black crime?
Nah, man.
The fight between Kilmonger and BP was over ideas/ideals not over drugs, hoes or a dice game.

Honestly, I'm more of a Silver Surfer fan than one of the Black Panther.
Sure, I like that BP possessed enough foresight to excuse himself from Marvel's Illuminati.
But I never identified with him.
While he wasn't a former pimp, drug dealer or criminal - his story wasn't my story.
I was influenced by the real Black Panthers whose ideologies seemed more in line with Kilmonger's beliefs.

'Woke'? Ninja-please.
Most of y'all should never have slept through school and you'd possess the requisite pool of knowledge required to defend your beliefs beyond the memes and tropes put forth on facebook and YouTube posts.
We were inculcated with the belief in #blackexcellence not the belief in thinking that mediocrity was the same thing.

And I get it.
Baby steps.
There are still many who believe that the Cosby Show was a 'white' show starring Black actors.
There are many who believe that if it's made/owned by whites that it must be superior.
I get that all the hashtags give you the feeling of actually accomplishing something - that you make a difference.
I get that many of you feel the need to live vicariously through celebrities and fictional characters in order to feel empowered.
I get that most support Kaepernick but that they still work for companies which have worse historical practices concerning race than does the NFL - yet they won't forgo their paychecks.

I get that Black Panther (Like 'Django'.) gives many pride in their being beyond that of being servants, criminals or slaves.
I get that most dumb people have smart phones and most of their real history is just a few clicks away.

I get that BP is not reduced to a sidekick, a Magical Negro nor does he benefit from a White Savior.
I get that this fictional character is, for many, the first time they have seen a Black person being viewed as an equal (See: Black Panther in Marvel's Illuminati).

Proverbs 23:7 states,
'For as he thinks in his heart, so is he'.
I get that many thought they weren't shit so they proved themselves correct.
I get that most are surrounded by negativity so it's become the expected outcome.
I get that most lack the faith required to do the work that is required to create a real and lasting change.
But it has to start somewhere, 
and my hope is that BP is the seed that will develop into the realization that we can do better.


brohammas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
brohammas said...

My wife is team Killmonger all day... which should probably make me nervous on several fronts.