If we were to get rid of rap and hip-hop music, would the greater black community be better off, and placed on equal footing with our Caucasian counterparts, who, as a group, head the socioeconomic totem pole? Obviously not. Thus, largely invalidating Rivera’s thesis. However, would eliminating violent lyrics from the music consumed by so many black youth, some of whom are at a high risk of joining gangs due to their location and socioeconomic status, benefit the black community? Perhaps. However, only perhaps.
The war against Black people is global and as Dr. King once said, “None of us are free until all of us are free.” Let’s make sure our sister Marielle Franco’s life and death isn’t in vain. Let’s make sure the voice and the strength of our diaspora is felt beyond Black Panther’s box office numbers. Share her story. Demand justice. End the war on black people everywhere. Say Her Name!
At some point in my life, I experienced a…shift. There was an undercurrent. Perhaps that’s the best way to describe it. There was a shift in my behavior and ideology that was so slight, so gradual that it was able to fly under my radar. I found myself feeling a lot more self-conscious in certain situations. I felt more insecure around certain groups of people. It felt like a loss of control.
To combat this hegemonic colonial narrative, Black women must see their intersectional identity as the epitome of humanness. We must detangle ourselves from negative narratives and images, in order to reclaim our humanity and learn how to resist. I am pushing for Black women to have a continuous reimaging of oneself to unlearn heteronormative ideologies.
It was very indicative of the current relationship between Africans and African Americans. There’s so much animus or competition that I have never quite understood. Both groups use derogatory names to refer to each other. In Africa, African American culture is very big and influential in terms of how people speak and dress. But in creating “Black Panther,” Africans and African Americans came together to create art that black people around the world are proud of. But in everyday life, there is no such unity. I think it’s a vision for what can be possible when the two groups work together.
This isn’t a review of the film. I’m just here to express gratitude for the film’s villain, Erik Killmonger. Yes, you read that correctly. I’m thankful for the villain. Sure, I appreciate Michael B. Jordan just as much as the next girl (yes, God), but no, that’s not why I’m thankful for Killmonger. There’s so much more than meets the eye with this villain, and the presence of such a nuanced character on the silver screen is timely, revolutionary, and necessary.
The vision of an African technologically advanced society creates a vision of what Africans winning looks like. It doesn't look like marches, it doesn't look like protest, it looks African sovereignty reinforced by technological and military power. Though many are framing Wakanda from an alternate history perspective- a history where African nations were not colonized, I challenge you to view Wakanda from an alternative future perspective. A future where we as Africans both on the Continent and in the Diaspora can build a Pan-African society likened to the one created in the Marvel Universe. Wakanda can be built.
In spite of these tragedies, black women prevail and still aspire to be in happy and healthy relationships. How many of us however, ask ourselves questions like, who am I? What am I passionate about? What do I believe or not believe in? What are my boundaries? How do I want to contribute to society? I know a lot of people who continuously go through this back and forth limbo of dating and being in relationships without allowing ample time to reflect on the last.
Hiding behind the practice of “telling it like it is” distracts from problem solving, because it instead turns every disagreement or encounter into a self-preserving, other-attacking conflict. When we become adept to recognizing the ways in which Black people communicate with each other, we must then ask ourselves what decolonized truth-telling looks like. We are currently, collectively, and continually failing to practice collective-actualization.