JANUARY 19, 2018 JASONE.
One thing I hate is articles that promise you a list, but then give you this long intro on why you need the list. You know who needs this list and you know why you need it. So let’s not get confused and keep in mind that only hit dogs holler.
The fact is that there have been 17 movies in the MCU released already – and a bunch more to come. This is the first one featuring a black cast in ways that we only dreamed of until now, so I’m gonna walk you through this because we know asking you not to go is out of the question – and this film needs the seats filled to show how a movie like this can perform.
Black people will be excited. Very excited. No one is going to riot, set fire to anything, or shoot weapons the way you do when your City’s sports team wins…or loses. We will be partying and having a good time.
The theater will be loud. Yes, we will be talking to the screen and likely there will be noise of awe and glee. My guess is that there will be more than a few collective “DAAAAMN!”s. If you want a quiet cinematic experience, wait for the DVD. Or at least until March. If you decide to be there, no snitching. And if you feel like this is a stereotype, try thinking back to scenes of awesomeness in every “Star Wars” opening weekend screening when fan-boys lose their shit. It happens.
Do NOT dress up as Black Panther or anything remotely African unless you are black and have identified as such for at least the last 20 years and you were born in 1998. This also means your little kid, too. Remember, you’ve got an entire cinematic universe for Timmy to choose from. He doesn’t get a Black Panther mask this weekend. If you really want to be progressive, deny him the whole month of February. When he asks why, tell him about the boat ride that black people took from Africa to the Americas. That ought to hold him for a while. (Special note for non-black women and femmes: While you can roll up with the black lipstick and/or fingernail polish, out of “solidarity.” Think about it for a moment. Black women so rarely get this. Wouldn’t you like some of the faux-worship you’re always throwing at them spill over into quietly letting them have their moment, girlfriend?)
If you are dating a black person, let them go without you. They are going to tell you that they want you there and they mean it, but they really want to see this with other black people, and they may not ask you for fear of having to explain yet another thing to you. Just let them go. Consider it a Valentine’s Day/Black History Month gift. If you are married to a black person, DEFINITELY let them go without you. Don’t even wait for them to ask. Buy them a ticket and smile when you give it to them. They deserve this.
Seeing this does not make you an “ally.” Just because you are stoked about this film does not mean you’re getting invited to the cookout. Do not use having seen it (or even wanting to), as your opening to fist-bump with Tyrell from accounting. Black culture has been around since the creation of this county, so you had some time to learn more about it before now. Let’s not use a fiction character as your sad little starting point and especially not this one.
This film does not fix racism. Do not walk away from this movie thinking that we are “Even Stevens” like you did when we had a black President. You see what happened after that, right? 2% don’t fix a damn thing.
Your history of reading the comic is not bigger than this. Thank you for knowing and appreciating who Billy Graham is. Your dedication is appreciated, but this is a major motion picture live-action, badass film release meaning two things: A. We(black people) get to see ourselves on a screen in huge, mind-blowing, legendary positivity, something that is infinitely undeniable and affirming in popular culture. B. The film will be around for months and years so you can brag about seeing it 10-15 times which will make you feel cooler than all the people who have never heard of this character until “Cap: Civil War,” which is all you want anyway, right?
When people start talking about this being the first, big-budget black superhero movie, do not bring up “Catwoman.” We didn’t forget about it. This is different from that. Not just because it’s going to be a much better movie made by people who care about the character and universe, but also because it’s not a black person shoved into a pre-conceived, bad copy of a character in a half-baked off-shoot of a better property. We’ll keep Halle in our hearts, and you can keep her name out your mouth for now.
Leave your gun at home. Whether your daddy showed you too many John Wayne films or if you somehow got to the point to thinking that the world is against you because not every damned superhero is a straight, white, Christian cis-dude, bringing a firearm to a screening, while generally a bad idea anyway (#LiterallyShootingintheDark), is not just dangerous, but stupid. Don’t be that guy. Even if you think that you’re a “good guy” and part of your life is about carrying a firearm with you at all times, stay yo ass at home. We don’t want to watch movies with you anyway.
Enjoy it. Bask in the loving glow of Wakanda, like we will. Tell your friends to see it and see it multiple times. Hollywood needs to know that everyone loves good characters in good stories regardless of race, ethnicity, or background, and the best and most important way of showing that is asses in the seats. And if you don’t like it…it doesn’t matter. The money is already spent. Think of all the failed experiments that you’ve supported: Transformers, Batman vs. Superman, the middle-Spider-Man…Think of this a supporting a character that deserves attention. Attention that’s long overdue… kinda almost like the culture that inspired him. But…one step at a time.
And, finally, if you feel like this post is “reverse racism” or you wanna rant against it, I would suggest that you bottle up those white tears and send them to me so that I may water my field where my fucks are grown…because it is barren. Peace.