The Black Panther Lives!

Last night, the night before Thanksgiving, was the perfect time for me and Jenise to go see Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Everyone was either out of town or at home doing something else. There were eleven of us in the theater, and Jenise and I had our own row.

Thank you, Father.

How do I describe this movie without giving away spoilers? Pretty much the same way everybody else is: it was a beautiful tribute to the late, great Chadwick Boseman, who played T’Challa. Recasting the part would have been a mistake–yes, I said it. I know that there are Black actors who need work, but some roles can only be played by the one who originated them.

Director Ryan Coogler gave us all a chance to properly mourn King T’Challa and the man who played him. And then he gave us one humdinger of a story for this long-awaited sequel, as Princess Shuri takes her rightful place as T’Challa’s successor. I have a new respect for Letitia Wright, who played Shuri with such a surprising depth of emotion.

As much as I enjoyed the imagery of Atlantis in Aquaman, I must say that I prefer Marvel’s version of the underwater empire, given the name Talokan. I know how this will sound to some people, but I don’t care: I am elated to watch a superhero movie about mythical origins with Black and Brown faces, and plots that do not showcase white people. Yes, there are the obligatory Caucasians in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, but they were not depicted as the big, bad Boogiemen. There was a bigger, badder enemy than the politics of white supremacy (although I did get a kick out of Queen Ramonda’s speech to a room full of colonizers). I did not hate Namor or the other Talokans at all.

As usual, the women in this movie were fierce. Every single one of them. I am happy to have all the dolls in the Fresh Fierce collection from Fresh Dolls. I only wish that there were more. There needs to be more: Ayo, Aneka, Riri Williams, and Queen Ramonda, played by the incomparable Angela Bassett.

I am going to love watching this movie over and over again, even though there were parts that truly upset me. But that would be spoiling it, so I will just say watch the movie. You will NOT be disappointed.

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