Get Your Life: No One TAKES Black Joy

As critics and right-wing media attack #BlackPanther weekend, be encouraged

For months, black people all over the United States – and the world – have been celebrating the coming release of something magical.  Marvel’s Black Panther, a movie about a superhero who’s home is based in a fictional, East African nation, that he happens to also be king of. The first Marvel movie featuring a black superhero who’s from an essentially un-colonized, Black utopia, Wakanda.  The film features an award-winning, strikingly dynamic and all-star black cast.  If you’ve been under a rock and have no idea what I’m talking about, you’ve read all of that right.  Black nation. Black Super-hero.  Black cast.  I’d cite this as a win for black people.

Should we be happy?  Yes.
Are we happy? Yes.
Are people mad that we’re happy? YES!

For weeks, I’ve seen articles and videos on what you should do and how you should prepare for the release of this film.   Black blogs and ‘woke’ websites aren’t lacking tips and tricks for you to #WakandaForever and have the best black weekend, living your best black life.  I usually reserve my opinions on pop culture antics and phenomenons for the radio or my Twitter account, but in this instance, I thought I’d serve my people, by offering these thoughts.   I’ve seen so much excitement, agitation, confusion and resistance.  The latter, the most baffling.  Now that you have context, you can keep reading.  I’m going to address the excitement, the agitation, the confusion and the resistance, individually.

 

  1. Excitement:

    We have a every reason to be going bat shit crazy and bananas for this film

    Ask me how many ‘black superheros’ I had to choose from, growing up?
    Again, ask me how many comic books or cartoons or movies — was I able to look at, and see myself in?

    Thanks for asking, I’ll tell you.  I remember … Storm.   Yes.  Storm …the X-Men.  Storm.
    I’ve got no problem with Storm being a black woman, but woman I am not.
    I’ve always thought she was sexy, but… Storm.

    Have you ever seen the Storm movie?
    No?
    Me neither.

    Representation is important.  In Black Panther we are represented over and over and over… you get the point.  Over and over again.  Relish in it.  We didn’t see ourselves on screen too much, truth be told we still don’t, but our kids WILL. They see this now and they’re ecstatic.  Your excitement tells Hollywood, and Atlanta-wood, we need more of this.

    See it (this weekend if possible).  Bring a friend.  Dress up.  Grab a bucket of chicken, two sides and a toothpick.  Take pictures.  Post pictures.  Embrace you.  Embrace us.  Take the opportunity.

  2. We have no reason to be agitated with each other – stop hating

    Have you never put on a head wrap?  Not sure the Dashiki is going to fit you properly?  Do you not look good in black?  Listen, it’s not about any of that, but indeed, it’s about all of it.  You look really ignorant questioning the decision for people to dress up to go to ‘some movie.’  You do.  You look ignorant.  It’s so simple for you to forget that you saw Danny and family all dressed up for the 178th release of Star Wars.  Or Twilight.  Or Superman. Or…  you feel me?   Stop hating.

    Blackness is complex.  If your blackness compels you to not wear a damn thing, then don’t.  Don’t take the opportunity to celebrate our culture (or a culture that represents what our true freedom would’ve looked like) away from us.  Leave the agitation, your frowned up face and your bad vibes at home, or go sit on somebody’s empty church pew.  We ain’t with it!

  3. Black culture without colonization – confusing as hell

    We’ve never experienced it.  In this life, you probably won’t.   Seeing this film will open your eyes.  I grew up in a majority-white school district and neighborhood, and it was there that I truly found that my heritage had been stolen from me.  I knew about slavery, and history and blah, blah blah… but it wasn’t until I heard my little white friends talk about their great-great-greats that came from Ireland and Germany and other Anglo-nations and the intimate details about their history that I truly realized that all of that has been stolen from me.  Stolen from me, my mom and dad, my grandparents, and as far up the chain that I would’ve liked to know.

    We Black Americans don’t know life without white colonization.  We should though.  This film will give you the opportunity to dream.  Imagine.  Believe.

  4.  The resistance is real – don’t participate

    It’s not like they don’t have everything anyway — lo and behold, the right-wing white resistance is here to steal the show and the shine.  From self-hating blacks, that don’t believe they can do better, to right-wing news media site Breitbartthe hate is coming out of the woodwork.

    Do not be a disappointment.  Do not share articles from haters or organizations that intend to destroy the microcosm of culture we’re finally building.  As an example,  Breitbart News, a conservative, right-leaning, race-baiting news organization published a series of articles today, in hopes to turn us against each other.  You’ll see them in your timelines and you’ll see them on your feed, don’t perpetuate this nonsense.  Don’t fall into the trap of “divide and conquer.” It’s funny that they barely report on us, rarely speak anything positive about our community or the other communities that they are trying to exploit, yet they found a way to publish criticism about this movie. Criticism that is untrue and founded on meritless allegation.

    Collectively, we’re off that.  We’re off them.  Breitbart is a breeding ground for Trumpism and the right-wing conservative. The gall of them to write an article about Black Panther’s lack of LGBT representation, when they’ve published articles insinuating that LGBT’s are barely human beings is extremely telling of how divisive that group is.  RESIST HATE!

 

Have fun. Live you’re best black and brown lives. Tag us in your pictures.  Turn it out! #UNR

 

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Alex Haynes is Editor-At-Large/NYC Editor at Urban Newsroom, Executive Editor at UNR's Black News Alerts and the host of Unmuted Nation on BossFM. Alex joined Urban Newsroom in 2010 and contributes regular op-ed and editorial pieces while advising the columnist and contributing staff.

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