This past weekend doesn’t owe me a thing!
After surviving a brutally cold, never-ending January that felt like it lasted 4 months long and was filled with healing wounds and life lessons relearned, I was so ready for clocks to strike Thursday, February 1, 2018. Why, you ask?
This Black History Month would not only bring us the official presidential portraits of #ForeverPOTUS Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley and #ForeverFLOTUS Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald for the Smithsonian on Monday, February 12th, it would also usher in the much anticipated release of Black Panther on Friday, February 16th starring Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther), Michael B. Jordan (N’Jadaka/Killmonger), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Winston Duke (M’Baku), Angela Bassett (Ramonda), Forest Whitaker (Zuri), Sterling K. Brown (N’Jobu), Andy Serkis (Ulysses Klaue), and Martin Freeman (“colonizer” Everett K. Ross). The movie was incredibly phenomenal… more on that later!
My sister and I had already made plans in December to see Black Panther on Saturday, February 17th, which also happens to be the 76th birthday of Dr. Huey P. Newton, co-founder of The Black Panther Party, through a private day screening at the AMC Magic John Theatre in Harlem. In December, we also got tickets to the Ladies Night RnB Super Jam at Barclays Center on February 17th that included performances from XScape, Bobby Brown, Bell Biv Devoe, K-Ci & JoJo, Faith Evans, Tank, Stokley of Mint Condition and Blackstreet. For complete context, after seeing The Comedy Get Down Comedy Tour starring Cedric the Entertainer, Eddie Griffin, D.L. Hughley, and George Lopez on January 12th at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, I quickly copped tickets the following day for us to see Katt Williams 11:11 RNS Tour at Barclays Center on Friday, February 16th.
So if you followed all of that, then you’d know that my weekend itinerary was about to be LIT… and LIT it most certainly was!!! Everything that we needed or wanted just seemed to fall into place – travel times and cabs, long lines at concession stands and getting food before it ran out, even the rain and snowy weather didn’t ruin our plans. On top of that, my sister got us tickets to see the incredibly funny, Jess Hilarious, at Caroline’s on Broadway on Monday, February 19th to complete the President’s Day weekend! It was a real treat as it was my first time there. I highly recommend the Jay Pharaoh, the Chris Rock, and the nachos. I also highly recommend Manna’s Restaurant in Harlem. It was only right that my sister and I ate some delicious soul food before we saw the movie!
Now, back to Black Panther… where do I start?! First off, it has grossed over $419 million worldwide and over $241 million domestically over the four-day opening weekend, making it the fifth highest opening weekend of all time. It also set the record for biggest debut by an African American director. We see you, Ryan Coogler!
#WakandaForever… and EVER!
I really just want to pack my bags, grab my passport, and live the rest of my days in all that is Wakanda! From the Wakandan landscape and the futuristic technology, to the heart shaped herb that grants super powers and the valuable metal vibranium, to the positive portrayals of strong, intelligent, powerful Black women in leadership roles, to the colorful costumes and accents, to the complex storyline that’s already sparked several think pieces on the effects of Western imperialism, colonialism, neocolonialism, racism, radicalism, Black liberation, and nationalism, to seeing Black folk dressed in traditional African garb or wearing all Black while throwing up the fist, Black Panther was EVERYTHANG! Black Excellence. Black Gold. Black Girl Magic. Black Boy Joy. Blackity Black Black Blackness. I am still in awe and already planning to see it again! I left the theater feeling taller, prouder, and regal AF in my green dashiki dress… in essence, I was really feelin’ myself! I was already on a high from an eventful weekend, and this movie took me way beyond Cloud 9.
As I look over all the pictures and videos I took over the past 96 hours, I have the biggest smile on my face! I feel so blessed and full of gratitude. Just last month, I was contemplating my life, my choices, and the reason why I’m still healing from a scar on my knee that I received due to impatience. Like T’Challa who wrestled with the idea of being King and the responsibilities that come with the role, I too, question whether I’m able to be all that I am and can be, not only for myself but also for the benefit of others. Then I remember what T’Chaka said to T’Challa when he told his father his concerns.
“Stand up. You are a King.”