I have to write right now while I’m still pumped up from watching Black Panther. Wow, what a movie! Those who haven’t seen it yet, don’t worry; I won’t write any spoilers. But wow! What a movie! I went to watch it with a lot of expectations and I got more than I expected! Knowing beforehand that there are Burundian drummers in it had something to do with the excitement I felt 😉 I’m so proud of them! In the beginning, as they were showing where Wakanda is on the African map, I was like, it looks like it is in Burundi; you know the heart of Africa? Lol!
But on a serious note, at the beginning of the movie I caught myself looking for that black person who would die first; you know that cliché where there is always a black character who always dies first in a movie? Yeah I always low-key do that when watching movies, and I’m almost always right. But today I had to scold myself: it’s not that kind of a movie; we are heroes in this one! This movie really had a different feel to it, I might be exaggerating but it really was there, that feeling… The last time I remember feeling it was when I was listening to Obama’s first speech as the president of the USA: “the most powerful man on earth” was black! I was on my bike bringing newspapers around but it was like I was riding on clouds; that’s how proud I was. Mind you, I don’t live in the USA and I knew that him being president wasn’t going to affect me in any way just like this movie is not going to affect me in any way (if anything I just made them 15 euro richer ;-p ). But just that feeling that a black man or woman can be great, in contrast with what the everyday media show us nowadays. We only see the poor black people or the criminals; to see the other ones, the great ones you have to dig deep.
I get how this movie can make black youngsters dream again; it can make them dream bigger and aim higher. As someone who was born in Burundi and grew up in Europe, you really don’t have those big dreams. You live in a country where people (some, not all) look down on you for being black and a foreigner. It’s hard to get into good schools; it’s hard to get good jobs. So your dreams do not really go higher than getting your education, getting a good job and taking care of your family and your extended family back home. The movie got me, an adult, believing in fairytales again. For 134 minutes I was dreaming wondering; what if Africa was like that? It sure has the potential to be like that! We have such a rich continent that we could literary rule the world; but do you know where our real poverty is? In our hearts: we lack love and unity among us. Even among those living abroad, those you can no longer call poor, the divisions are still there!
You know there’s a question that has always haunted me: I always asked myself if black people were cursed. If you look at Africa, it’s a mess and I know you will tell me that the white man has been causing it all. That is true but they work through us, they paid us to sell our brothers and we did. They still pay us to fight each other and we do. They are not the ones who took up the mipanga and killed their brothers and their neighbours; we did. We have got to accept that we are also to blame. Even if you look all around the world the black man in general is not doing well, even in places where we used to think that they were doing better, they are not. Like our brothers and sisters in in the USA; one would have thought that in 2018 race wouldn’t be an issue over there, but it looks like it is just coming up. Somebody once told me that we were not cursed that on the contrary we are blessed, and the devil knows that and he will use everything and anybody to stop us from reaching our full potential. Hmm… maybe, but something has got to change!
There must be a way to change this; we cannot be doomed to be inferior, right? Don’t look at me for answers I don’t have them. I’m just asking questions. I’m a dreamer, even those tests we use to take for career orientation always showed that I was a dreamer not a doer ;-P. So doers what do you say? How are we gonna do this?
PS: I can’t go without mentioning how awesome the women of Wakanda are; wow! They showed us that a lady doesn’t necessarily have to lose her identity and purpose to get married; that she can find love and still pursue her purpose. I’m going to stop writing before I spoil the movie for everyone.
(image source: hypebeast.com)