Thanks to Disney I was invited to Los Angeles for the #BlackPantherEvent, able to attend the press junket and interview Daniel Kaluuya and Letitia Wright.
As moms we want to teach our children to be friendly and kind. Maya Angelou’s quote, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” is a simple reminder of the impact I can make in someone’s life through an act of kindness, positive inspiration, or something as small as how I respond to a Chance getting his name on the board. Even in discipline, I think kindness, understanding, and support will have a greater impact than any other form of communication or emotion.
While we sat in that small and intimate conference room listening to Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi) and Letitia Wright (Shuri) talk about BLACK PANTHER, I was captivated by their genuine support of each other. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Danial and Letitia share about the movie, their beliefs, and especially their lasting friendship.
As Letitia was asked how she felt about being a black princess on film, the question progressed to did she believe that it would be inspirational for girls and boys. The conversation that took place between Letitia and Daniel while answering this question set the tone for the entire interview for me.
“It’s crazy because this film is pretty much years of prayer. It’s powerful because this is something I would pray for when I was a teenager just getting into acting. I just wanted to be a vessel of inspiration. Doesn’t have to necessarily mean that the character is not flawed or has to be perfect, but just to inspire.” – Letitia
“I remember one time you were on set for a scene. When you walked by in costume a little girl looked up at you and went, “ahhh.” It was like…(huge smile)”– Daniel
“That’s another thing. Daniel would pull me to the side and say things like, “you’re a queen you know” and ‘Tish, be a vessel for something really beautiful.” I would be like, don’t gas me up…But he’s like a beautiful brother, very encouraging.” – Letitia
Isn’t it super sweet? I thought so too, it was such a beautiful conversation to witness. I was literally smiling the whole time, their genuine love, support and adoration for each was so inspiring. It’s proof that we can be good friends to each other, if we choose to be. They are both actors and yet they were supportive of each other’s careers on and off screen.
Making someone feel seen, understood, appreciated, and most of all supported is not only exemplary of a great friendship but also a productive life. I honestly feel that I am a very supportive person but listening in on Daniel and Letitia, I felt charged to be better…I think we all did.
I must be honest, I think I was so intrigued because I could only hope and pray that my son creates and fosters relationships with such love, support, and genuine concern for the advancement of other people. So here are the “friendship building” takeaways that I want to ensure that I teach my son:
· Be Kind: approach and respond to others with a smile and friendly “hello.”
· Be Considerate: be sensitive to the feelings and situations of others.
· Be Helpful: extend a helping hand to others.
· Be Aware: pay attention to actions and behaviors.
· Be Supportive: encourage others to do and be their best.
· Be Honest: when someone does good, congratulate them.
Daniel did not feel by encouraging Letitia’s shine it would dim his sparkle. No, he understood that our real power lies in our ability to empower and support others in their pursuit of greatness. Greatness is different for everyone. You determine what makes you great or what it mean for you to be great. The same goes for our children.
Listen, I want to encourage you to share these takeaways with your children and do yourself a huge favor and take your family to see BLACK PANTHER on February 16th. You will see this type of support throughout the movie and you will leave the theatre inspired, empowered, and motivated to be your best self.
Do you teach your children to be supportive? I would love to hear about the things you do to help your children to see the value in supporting others. Please share your thoughts, tips and takeaways, I would love to hear from you.
© LaToyia Dennis ~ Motivated Mom