It’s Day 323 of the Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Project, and I feel compelled as a Black mom (I’m capitalizing Black and White in this piece because I believe if you’re going to do so with one you should with the other) to share my thoughts on the Black Panther movie. Following dinner and late night dancing, time to rise and shine came early this morning. But as is often the case, when I think about something I’ve looked forward to – like going to the movies with my kiddos and a friend after Zumba – I pop up. I have to confess spending time with the kids appealed far more than the movie did – simply because I’m not into Marvel, DC or any other superhero movies. However, Liv (fourteen), shared how excited Levi (thirteen) was about a superhero movie with a predominantly Black cast. They are bi-racial, with a White father, and at times I’ve been concerned with how much they identify too much or too little with one side of their heritage vs. the other…So when my son expressed interest in a movie because of above – my enthusiasm grew. And the film hooked me from scene one. The hype about the blockbuster is well-founded. Even though not my usual genre, like movie goers around the globe, I was thoroughly entertained. Beyond that, as a Black parent of half Black children and as a Black woman, the movie resonated with me.
This is largely because this week has been one filled with reflection on my upbringing. On Tuesday I had a meeting in the neighborhood where I was raised. In it, we discussed ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences) and how trauma impacts us as adults. Then I drove down the street where I lived going between my mother’s house and my great Aunt’s. Every street on the house has been demolished and I drove up and down several times trying to process it. Consequently, I could have added “demolition” to the examples of Ds in my Disrupt HR talk the following night….Still trying to process at dinner last night, I shared how I grew up “in the hood” and some of the horrific scenes that played out there.
Scenes similar to the ones on the big screen this afternoon when characters who had big-time ACES would flash back to Oakland, California. Without spoiling the movie, the bad guy’s hatred and violence stemmed from the murder of someone who wanted to use their country’s considerable resources (he unfortunately secured some through traitorous means) to alleviate the suffering of people with whom he could identify – Black people. All of the plot’s conflict goes back to this inciting act and made for lots of combat. Though that wasn’t my cup of tea, I did appreciate the courage, integrity and loyalty of many of the characters – especially the GORGEOUS females of Waukonda – and the Black Panther – who acted as a king of honor by treating even his enemies with dignity and respect. In fact he does the right thing every time.
As a Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose Black mom, the thing I appreciated most about this movie was how it depicted a superhero who is Black like my children. It’s like when Barak Obama was elected and Levi declared while working on a 3rd grade report on him, It means I can be president one day! He always could have been, but seeing a Black president made it a reality vs. a possibility. Likewise, though it’s also taken until the 21st century to have a Black superhero, my biracial son – who’s as fair as some White people – is aware – and proud of it! In a world where too often the Black men he sees in films and sadly in real life are criminals, unemployed, indigent, ignorant, etc. Disney got this one right. Because they did, this Black mom is a fan of Black Panther.
Whether you’re Black, White or Other – I hope you’ll be Hope be Pink Collar Savvy & Chic on Purpose and give this one a try.
Be savvy & chic,
~Pink Collar Coach