The boys were beyond excited when the trailer was released. They couldn’t wait to see the movie once released— and we saw it on opening night. We all wore black in a show of solidarity and support. As we were watching the movie, we could not believe what was unfolding in front of our eyes. We experienced varying states of joy, amazement, wonder, sadness, anxiety, fear, excitement, and pride. We witnessed a movie that had all shades of us. All personalities of us. All depths of us.
We left the movie theater with a sincere feelings of relief and anticipation. Relief that we saw a full representation the the African diaspora that was void of the negative stereotypes that were used to seeing in movies, tv shows, and the news. Anticipation of what was next to be conquered in the next chapter of Black Panther in 2021. I think that the boys screamed “Wakanda Forever” at random intervals for the next few weeks afterwards.
When the DVD was released, we made sure that we had it on day one—and it played intermittently in our minivan and in our family room ALMOST EVERY DAY. I can probably quote the entire script at this point—I have heard it too many times not to know the lines. It was like quoting Black Excellence. Verbal gold. The language of the combined remnants of the unknown African history that we cling to as African Americans.
That’s why the boys created Wakanda Forever and Heart of Wakanda candles. They left that movie feeling like they saw themselves as kings on screen. As magical warriors who could transcend space, time, injustice, and racism. They took those sentiments and translated them into candles that would forever remind them of a palatial home where being black was their superpower—and the promise of a future was a certainty and not just a dream.
Thank you Chadwick Boseman for inspiring all of us to strive higher, be better, and speak life into our destinies with purpose and vision.
Rest in heaven, our hero IRL.