My 8-year-old son Chance loves superheroes. He’s had figurines, costumes, and all sorts of branded items from Spider-Man, Ironman, and everyone in between. When Marvel started advertising BLACK PANTHER it was all that he could talk about. Honestly, I had no idea that the BLACK PANTHER even existed outside of the organization that fought for equality and justice for black people.
I began researching BLACK PANTHER and found myself intrigued. After doing a little digging, I decided to ask Chance if he knew T’Challa. He quickly said, “the Black Panther…yes!” I was secretly relieved, especially since I clearly had nothing to do with his knowledge of T’Challa.
After my “comic book history lesson” from my son, I really wanted to be selected by Disney to attend the #BlackPantherEvent as a blogger. When I received my invite, I shared the news with Chance and he said “mommy you must be a really good blogger to have gotten selected for BLACK PANTHER.” He continued to say that he was very happy for me and that he did not want to hear ANYTHING about it that would spoil his experience. Yeah, he went there with me…but I agreed, I don’t like spoilers anyway.
Perhaps you are like me, a mom with limited “superhero” knowledge so let me explain why this is such a huge deal in our house. BLACK PANTHER is the first black superhero in history debuting in Fantastic Four in the 1960’s before starring in his own self-titled series beginning in 1977.
Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER follows T’Challa who, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king. But when a powerful old enemy reappears, T’Challa’s mettle as king—and BLACK PANTHER—is tested when he is drawn into a formidable conflict that puts the fate of Wakanda and the entire world at risk. Faced with treachery and danger, the young king must rally his allies and release the full power of BLACK PANTHER to defeat his foes and secure the safety of his people and their way of life.
BLACK PANTHER is directed by Ryan Coogler and stars Chadwick Boseman as BLACK PANTHER, Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger, Lupita Nyong’o is Nakia, and Danai Gurira’s role as Okoye. They are joined by Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, and Sterling K. Brown.
Kevin Feige is producing with David J. Grant along with Victouria Alonso, Jeffrey Chernov, Louis D’Esposito, Nate Moore and Stan Lee as executive producers. Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole wrote the screenplay. Marvel Studio’s BLACK PANTHER prowls into U.S. theatres on February 16, 2018.
You see lately Chance has asked a lot of questions about my childhood, family, and upbringing. He’s asked me about my grandmother (she raised me most of my life), my mom including the other mother figures in my life, my dad, and extended family. While I never let him see, his questions brought a lot of emotion. I could not escape my thoughts of joy, pain and at times confusion. Immediately following the premiere, I found myself thinking about the overall impact the film had on my personal life, the questions that Chance had been asking, and the lessons that I wanted to teach him as a result.
What I found most interesting was how he handled his family, friends, and foes. I am going to do my best to capture the essence of the lessons without spoiling the movie….I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. LOL!
T’Challa’s mother, Ramonda also serves as his advisor. She’s still committed to making his journey through life peaceful, like moms around the world. His sister, Shuri is like any other sister, she’s smart, supportive, and has dedicated her life to supporting her brother and his position.
The love and support of T’Challa’s family helped me frame my answer to Chance’s questions. I want him to know that I appreciate my family and I am inspired more than ever to be more supportive of them. It’s true, I grew up in a very loving but dysfunctional environment. As a kid my grandmother shared the parenting role with my mother. As I grew older, things became even more complicated. When things didn’t work out with me living with my dad and stepmom, I lived with extended family and eventually strangers that became family. A lot has happened from then until now, but after watching this film I am more committed to doing my part to be the best wife, mom, daughter, sister, niece, and cousin I can be. I want to ensure that I teach Chance the importance of family.
T’Challa is not lacking in the area of good friends. There’s Nakia, his determined and methodical lover. Also, by his side is long time best friend W’Kabi that oversees security of the border tribe. Covering his back is the leader of the all-female Dora Milaje – a version of the Secret Service unit Okoye. He’s guided by Everett K. Ross, a CIA officer, and a close friend of his father Zuri.
This lesson is especially important for me to teach Chance. Friends are so important to him right now and will be throughout his life. Growing up I did not realize how important my “friend circle” would truly be. I don’t recall anyone having the conversation with me that I find myself having with Chance around friendships. T’Challa’s circle of friends were not only a critical part of his life but heavily impacted they type of king he would become. Having the right friends is a valuable lesson and while our friends aren’t perfect…true friendship will stand the test of time and difficulty.
An outcast of Wakanda that disagrees with T’Challa’s leadership is Erik Killmonger returns to wreak havoc. Hungry for fortune, Ulysses Klaue, is seeking to cause disruption in the world. Then there’s M’Baku who worships gorilla icons instead of panthers and believes he’d be a better leader than T’Challa.
As a mom this is challenging for me, so to think about Chance dealing with foes pains me. Growing up I did not handle bullying well, I never told anyone that I was a victim of bulling. When Chance began being bullied in school my heart broke and it took everything in me to remain calm while getting to the bottom of the issue. How we handle our foes says a lot about our character. Teaching Chance to be kind and yet stern is very important. While it is possible for foes to become friends, it’s not always likely. The way T’Challa handled his foes is a true lesson not only for Chance but I too was empowered to lead with love.
It’s not easy being a mom – teaching your children while you too are learning to grow and be better. Helping Chance to value family, choose the right friends, and face to his foes head on is not always easy…especially for me. After attending the world premiere, my appreciation of BLACK PANTHER grew beyond the portrayal of a black superhero that my son could look up too and see himself as, to a film that would impact how he lived his life as a black boy and eventually man.
Trust me, there’s so much more that I can include in my review of BLACK PANTHER and once the movie is released I probably will. But the lessons of family, friends and foes are lessons that I found valuable raising a black boy – who like T’Challa is strong, kind, fair and most importantly loving – and are the lessons that I wanted to share with you. Get ready….you and your family will absolutely love this film. Snag your tickets now for the February 16th release.
How do you talk to your children about difficult and important topics? I would love to hear what you think about these very relevant lessons from one Marvel’s superhero BLACK PANTHER. Share how you teach your children about the importance of family, friends, and foes.
P.S. Please follow Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram and go see the movie on February 16th in U.S. theatres everywhere!
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I was invited to an all-expense paid trip to Los Angeles courtesy of Disney to attend the #BlackPantherEvent & #ABCTVEvent in exchange for my coverage. No other compensation was provided. All views shared are completely my own.
Well shoot. I actually had an opportunity to see this movie, this evening but I was unable to make it!! Sounds like it’s definitely one I should go see though!! I love when movies serve as MORE THAN just entertainment!
I cannot wait to see this movie with my family. We’ve always enjoyed Marvel films. There are tons of fantastic actors in Black Panther, so I know it’s going to rock.
It seems like a fun movie to watch. I haven’t watch it yet. Hopefully this weekend!
I’m looking forward to seeing this movie, its been getting so much buzz on social media and media outlets. I can’t wait to see it.
It was great meeting you and covering the Black Panther Event stuff with you in LA recently. I loved this movie so much I will be seeing it a few more times super powerful movie!
I am really looking forward to seeing Black Panther, everyone so far seem to have such good things to say about it.
I can not wait to watch this movie. Marvel movies are always the best! I hear about it everywhere. Thanks for sharing.
My daughter and I are really looking forward to going to see this movie. That’s so great you were chosen to do a review for this. And great to take your son as well. I think my daughter wouldn’t want spoilers either. And it’s even better knowing that the film has great lessons to glean from it. Hopefully, we will be enjoying it this weekend.
Thank you for sharing lovely details. Sounds like a great movie to catch soon for sure.
I am sooo ready to see this movie! We are making it a family affair. Enjoyed seeing your premier photos, and now being able to read your thoughts. Thanks for sharing!
It is so good. You all will enjoy it.
I had never really been much into this character as I was the other Marvel characters. This is definitely going to be all new to me when I see it.
Omg why i am reading this? I haven’t watch the Black Panther and I know it is exciting, hahaha. Great review btw, and now more reason to push that schedule to watch it on cinema.
I want to see this movie so much. Thank you so much for the amazing review, I can’t wait for FRIDAY!!!