First and foremost, welcome to my first ever article for the Odyssey at Eastern Michigan University. My name is Desmine Robinson I am Junior Psychology Major at Eastern Michigan University. I am a mental health advocate and a Black Lives Matter activist. My dream is to be a Clinical Psychologist who specializes in Couples Therapy, Depression and Anxiety. I also want to be a best selling self-help novelist.
Now, this article IS NOT, I repeat NOT for anyone who HAS NOT seen 'Black Panther' and DOESN’T want it spoiled. This is your spoil alert! Don’t get mad at me if you see me on the street and say I spoiled "Black Panther" for you because I’m warning you now! So let’s begin!
Be honest with me: did you also think Wakanda was a real place and was seriously considering spending your Summer vacation there? I kid you not, I was so serious about booking a flight to Wakanda, I was going to take my camera and everything! I googled images of vibranium and realized that was also fictional! I was going to buy a vibranium chain, but the way they talked about it in the movie, it may have been too much for my financial aid refund to cover.
All in all, my feelings were hurt after the movie, I will not lie to you: a brotha' was HURT! Some things aren't real, but the good this film for the Black community was most definitely real! And “Black Panther” felt real to me.
I felt like I was truly apart of the movie and was seriously going to tweet at the Director Ryan Coogler and ask him to add me in the sequel. But I don’t think he has a Twitter account. (Find Coogler’s Twitter for me and I will buy you a cookie with the money I make from the movie.)
I give Black Panther a 5-star rating. From the cast’s interviews that made me cry, laugh, excited- to the bumping Kendrick Lamar-produced soundtrack (including “All the Stars” featuring SZA), I was all over this movie.
I appreciate Marvel movies, especially Wolverine and The Avengers, but this one, with the Black excellence it exemplified, really made this year’s Black History Month my most memorable. I wish I could have watched this as a little boy. It would have changed so much for me.
Even when I played video games such as 2007’s “Smackdown vs. Raw” or “Saints Row,” none of my custom characters were ever Black. I didn’t have a beautiful view of Black people. Sure, I learned about some Black people who did great things, but truly when I thought of Blackness the words that pop into my head now, words like excellence, endurance, king, queen, scholarly, leadership, beautiful, unique, wouldn’t appear.
I didn’t have that much positive investment in the color of my skin, and only these past few years have I realized many reasons why I love being Black. I come from a history of resilient survivors. I’m proud of my ancestors who wanted to be more, even when racists deemed them ⅗ of a person.
I want my nieces and nephews to see this movie. My baby cousin LJ is my partner in crime and to imagine his eyes marvel at Black Panther's slick and smooth skills brings tears to my eyes. I am also a high school English tutor, and I must say, I love when children are attracted to something so good. I love to see them take an interest in something with good morals and good intentions. I love to hear them say, “WOW! I didn’t know that.” I love to see their minds open, and I love to witness them travel through their continuum of knowledge. I can picture right now LJ doing a happy dance after he sees this movie.
I think, even though Black boys try to deny it, they are constantly reaching out to find a Black male role model. The Black Panther was that for me. He admits when he is wrong and thrives to do better which is very humble.
T’Challa at first is all about making his father proud and continuing his honor. He is a dutiful man--we see this when he accepts both challenges for the throne even when they both come from out of the woodwork. He has mercy on the first challenger, pleading with him to stop the fight and lead his people. That’s a big thing to say to someone who’s trying to kill you. He also doesn’t choose the gold panther suit because his eyes are on his vision and purpose and settles for what is more meticulous and simple.
He also was given the option to kill Klaue but instead said he’d bring him back for imprisonment- instead of killing him out of bloodthirsty rage. He wanted to split his wig after giving chase to him but, after a chase like that, I can’t be mad at him.
Also, how can I say the word “wig” and not mention Okoye’s part! I loved her and her character. We also see his dutifulness when he vows to bring Klaue back for justice.
With powerful women like Dora Milaje’s at his disposal, T’Challa serves as a true example of patience and discernment. He picks his battles and how he does them. So, of course, he didn’t let his Okoye, who leads the Dora Milaje's, impale “the colonizer” to the table.
T’Challa finds out the relation he may have to Killmonger, the man who helped Ulysses Klaue escape and demands that Zuri, his uncle who had sworn to keep this secret away from him, bring this mistake to light. Upon delivering Klaue’s dead body as bait (or offering), Killmonger challenges T’Challa and the king, against advice, accepts the challenge.
A defining moment for me was watching T’Challa get pummeled and having his rage smashed down after witnessing Zuri die. Killmonger was getting the vengeance he wanted, and there was nothing T’Challa, or anyone, could do about it.
Killmonger deposing T’Challa reminds me of how good people are often snuffed out by bad people with a vengeance. Like the four people who assassinated MLK, Lennon, Gandhi, and JFK; stories like theirs make me cringe but also reminds me that a single bullet cannot stop a movement.
T’Challa gets a second chance to confront his Father. Adults, even kings, can be wrong and some dads specifically have high pride that prevents them from accepting the truth, especially when it’s spoken from their child’s mouth. The former king, T'Chaka, was straightforward with his truth and reasoning: “The truth I chose to omit.”
How, pops? How are you going to omit a whole person? I was so proud of T’Challa for bringing the truth to him.
At this point, T’Challa confronts and defeats Killmonger. Mercifully, T’Challa allows Killmonger to see the sunset the usurper’s murdered father told him about. This is when, in my mind, Killmonger says the most powerful line in the whole film: “Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships. Because they knew death was better than bondage.”
Ya’ll, when he said that, my jaw dropped! That line, in itself, was striking! It broke my heart because the image is deeply saddening, all of that potential consumed by greed.
I was so happy T’Challa bought the building his uncle was murdered in and turned it into an outreach center. It was a wonderful way to step forward, and a sign of a learned lesson. This is when my 2nd favorite line came: “Bugatti Spaceship!” Seeing those little boys playing basketball and then changing their focus on the “spaceship” stole my heart.
Think about how awesome it would be if more Black kids focused on science; we could actually have a Bugatti spaceship. Either that or a 1997 Cutlass Supreme that hovers.
My favorite is scene is near the end, when the kid walked over to T’Challa and asked him who he was. That little boy saw hope and he saw endless potential. I wanted so badly to hear the conversation and to hear him say, “Wow, what’s Wakanda like?”
In conclusion, I think this movie was beautiful and it has surely changed my life. I hope we reach 1 billion dollars in box office sales!