Listen, we’ve all seen the hype over the last few months about Marvel’s Black Panther and how excited the culture was about it. It’s always an anxious feeling for me, wondering if widely anticipated movies will live up to the hype. When I tell you that Black Panther did more than just live up to the hype, I’m putting that VERY lightly.
I loved this movie and all its messages so much that I saw it twice this past weekend (and wouldn’t mind going again. Cannot wait to own the DVD). And decided that I’d have to do multiple blogs to cover all this magical cinematographic brilliance.
(I’ll try not to spoil it too much…but you really should have seen it already).
Lesson # 1 from Wakanda: Sometimes the villain really ain’t that bad.
Okay…so if you’ve seen the movie, we know that Michael B Jordan’s character, Killmonger, came way too hard at our hero, T’Challa. From the beginning, he showed his intelligent vengeance. From checking the “artifact queen” at the museum about how African culture was stolen, we knew he had plans to do some radical things in this movie. His whole life was centered around getting to Wakanda, de-throwing whoever was in power, and equipping the oppressed around the world with fire power.
Once we found out the cause of his original pain…I was devastated. All I could think of was, “this is us.”
The African-American culture (and this is a wide generalization) is hurt. We are bitter. We are depressed. We are confused. We are lost. We can’t recall generations past slave quarters without doing some extensive research and even then it feels like a divide between us and Africa at times. We feel forgotten. Like it’s our fault we’re here.
I felt all that pain watching Killmonger bottle it all up into rage. Although it’s never okay to take your pain out on someone who has no idea who you even are…when you don’t have any other perceived options, its hard to figure out the right way to address your path to recovery until it’s too late.
Acknowledge the source of your pain
Now…we all know that Killmonger had no issues with telling anyone the source of his pain. And we can at least say he acknowledged it. A lot of us cannot even begin the process of recovery, because we can’t be truthful about what we need to recover from.
Hold yourself accountable
T’Challa was burdened by choices that his father, the former King of Wakanda, even if they weren’t his choices. As the new king, T’Challa was holding himself accountable for everything he was responsible for. After acknowledging the true source of your pain, you must hold yourself accountable for the part you play. It cannot be all someone else’s fault. Even if the original situation was not of your doing, assessing where you are and how you play a part in the recovery is an important step in moving forward.
Be open to other solutions
Killmonger was on a mission to kill everyone who opposed him. There was no compromise, no middle ground, nothing. In the end…that didn’t turn out so great for him. Being open to solutions while going through recovery is a must! If you had all the answers, you wouldn’t need to recovery from anything. There is something great that comes from letting the light from others brighten yours. That’s what light does… sharing it only makes the source brighter.
Don’t let your forgotten pain make you bitter. Learn from it, process the pain and recover!