Contributed by Carpe Ventus volunteer, Quantas Ginn.
I’ve always felt like a nomad, drifting between cliques and cultures growing up, and even now in adulthood. I’ve been told I “talk or dress white” by white and black people. I’ve felt owned and disowned by every color of the rainbow. Moving from Alaska to Florida to Colorado back to Florida and now Illinois...having traveled to 15 countries, I’ve learned to be a chameleon to blend in.
Raised by parents who themselves were raised in the rural South under Jim Crow, I lived in an awareness of blackness, whiteness, military culture, church culture, college culture, in rural, urban, and suburban settings. It wasn’t until recently that I’ve started to own these nuances that make up me. I’ve begun to value the power of diversity in all of its forms and what each person brings to the table, including myself...
When the Black Panther trailer was released a few months ago something awakened in me. It’s not common to see African cultures celebrated and placed front and center as something to emulate or aspire to. Something in my blackness resonates with a sovereign people that look like me who are valuable, powerful, and matter.
I went to see the film opening night to take in this spectacle and I was not disappointed! The costumes, the soundtrack, the beautiful, black skin...I knew I had to take little black boys and little black girls to see this movie. So I got to see it a second time. And there are more kids I want to see it, so I hope to see it for a third and fourth time. Rest assured, when the DVD comes out I will be one of the first ones to buy it. I will be that guy who watches all of the special features just to get more of this monumental event in cinematic history.
Black Panther is more than just a comic book movie. It’s about inspiring the next generation of little black boys and little black girls. The purposeful depiction of black heroes shows them that they are valuable, they are powerful and they matter.