5 things I need our community to do in preparation for Black Panther!

Ya’ll Black Panther comes out in tree days. Don’t panic, but this is big for our culture. I can’t remember a movie in recent memory that we were as excited for as Black Panther! What other movie has been able to cause as much controversy and get dollar bills as Black Panther? Despite breaking records, you still have the 1000-level hoteps screaming that its another ploy to by wypipo to exploit the Black dollar, you have comic book fans pulling people’s cards for NOT knowing enough background information on the comic book origins of Black Panther (for those that need help, click here and here) and of course, there’s the occasional Facebook group trying to intentionally lower the ratings of the movie on Rotten Tomatoes.

If you’ve been checking the news, you’ve read about the Down With Disney Facebook group that created an event to give Black Panther bad reviews until Facebook cancelled them like Nino Brown. Honestly, this is even more reason to go out and PAY to see the movie (I’m looking at all my firestick owners). As I prepare for my numerous viewings (I’m thinking I’m going to max out at 3), let me offer five ways to enjoy this very Black theatrical experience:

1) Arrive on time:I need people to be on time for this premiere! I need people there before the previews start because everyone needs to be in place for tip #2.

2) Swag Surf:Look, if you went to college between 2009-2012, Swag Surfin’ was a party staple in your experience. You can recall specific moments where enemies came together in hopes of properly setting off the swag surf for a few minutes before becoming mortal enemies afterwards. It seems like the song made a resurgence in recent years and that same energy needs to make its way into a theater near you during the previews period before Black Panther starts up. Imagine if you will: me, you, your momma, and your cousins too locked arm-in-arm moving left to right as someone is blaring the song through their speakers. It’s only right. By the way, the swag surf starts left to right NOT right to left.

3) Dress Up: I’ve seen so many people talking about they’re going to dress up for the movie and the amount of criticism that I’ve seen from our own people is baffling. Nobody ever questions why people dress up to go see Star WarsThe Rocky Horror Picture Show, or The Room, so why question folks who want to dress in full regalia to see Black Panther? Do as you please, but for me, I’m dressing up. If people can buy lightsabers and dress up as Luke Skywalker for the 100th time, I’m wearing a dashiki to at least one showing.

4) Take a mentee or sponsor some children to see the movie: Representation really does matter. Don’t believe me? Look at these kids at Ron Clark Academy displaying pure joy when they found out that they were all going to see the movie together:

The moment all of our students found out we are all going to see #blackpanther together! pic.twitter.com/Fc8Ohuro4X— Ron Clark (@ronclarkacademy) February 2, 2018

We don’t have to get into it too much here because we know that its true. How many times are our babies going to see sooo many beautiful Black faces on the silver screen as well as sitting right next to them? How many times will our babies see dashikis, ankhs, and smell coconut oil all in one place?  Some of them might have that opportunity in the spaces they currently occupy, but not all. I’m copping a few tickets for my mentees to make sure they’re experiencing this moment.

5)Keep the criticism in the “house”: Did any of ya’ll grow up with the rule that “what happens in this house stays in this house?” We’re going to use that if the film isn’t good. We’re just going to do what 45 does all the time: provide alternative facts or change the subject. Someone says”the dialogue was off!”, you say, the “dialogue wasn’t for you to begin with!”. Somebody writes a review that the movie was “whack”, you kindly respond that “covfefe” and walk away. Now, when we’re in the same house, let’s talk about it, but outside, it was the greatest thing since avocado toast. You won’t hear me say otherwise.

What are some other ways that you’re going to enjoy Black Panther when it comes out next week?

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