My Loss Is Your Loss, Ten-Fold

November 13th, 2022

Journal Sunday 5:33am

I saw Wakanda Forever yesterday in a packed sold-out theater.

I have so many thoughts – and I posted my initial take after the movie in a TikTok video.

But as I slowly wake this Sunday morning, as I’m listening to the coffee percolating, I’m thinking once again of this lovely movie. And I have so many different things popping up in my head that I just need to write it out…

First, I’m thankful to Marvel Studios and director Ryan Coogler for letting me say goodbye to Chadwick Boseman. The movie does this beautiful homage to the actor and the character he plays in such a way that I was able to cry and mourn the loss of such a good man – I didn’t even realize how much I needed to do that as a fan.

Second. As we all talked about in the first movie Black Panther, the culture and beauty of Wakanda, and now also of Talokan (i.e., Atlantis), is extraordinary. If Wakanda takes its cue from the beauty of Africa then Talokan is inspired by the stunningly gorgeous indigenous Mayan culture of long ago. And, in my humble opinion, it was done brilliantly.

As beautiful as the story of Wakanda Forever is, and as stunningly satisfying the movie made me feel walking out the door – I kept thinking why for the love of all things sane has it taken us this long to embrace the beauty of other cultures and talents?  Why is this country, specifically the United States and the world over so racist?  Why do we deny ourselves the best parts of who we all are?

How can I explain this differently…

Look, I can’t imagine what it would be like never having known the experience of sitting at Fenway Park and watching a baseball game, singing with fans and cheering on my favorite team. That is quintessentially so very American, and it would feel odd to have never experienced it and then only see it on a movie screen for the very first time.  But, if a director as brilliant as Mr. Coogler could create that scene with such feeling and depth, I’d definitely get a tiny taste of what it’s like for sure. It would make me want to go to a baseball game and embrace it. At the very least, even if I hated it, I’d be better for the experience because I would have been exposed to it.  This is what this amazing director has done with these two movies… and it’s what makes me so sad for what we’ve lost around the world.

Racism and our fear of differences have harmed all of us in multiple ways.  I understand it’s a power thing and that it’s a more nuanced conversation, but the simplicity of what we have lost as human beings on the planet because we suppress others in hopes of controlling them and having fake power is basic and easy to understand.

This isn’t even about me being a Black and Latina woman. This is about all of us. Why would we deny ourselves – all that talent? Imagine how different the world would be had everyone been allowed to flourish and thrive. If you can’t imagine that, then imagine never being to any sports game – football, baseball, hockey, etc. – no one ever experiencing that kind of competition. That kind of comradery. That kind of joy and pain that comes from watching sports as a collective.

I’m not confused by the fact that we’d still be fighting about something else. Clearly, if we go a step further and play the stories out we’d still be trying to conquer and overthrow each other in different ways.  That may be what humans and all living species do. But, make no mistake, racism hasn’t just suppressed and damaged Brown and Black folk. Racism has damaged and affected White folk most of all. I said what I said.

I sat in that theater – and although I was thrilled to see pieces of my mother’s culture, I was familiar with up on the screen, they were, at the very least, still familiar to me. I was not confused or thrown or shocked to see them. I was happy to see them.  In a lot of ways, seeing the beauty of Wakanda and Talokan, quenched my thirsty soul to see it all again – such beauty is not something you forget growing up. And to see it in such a way – it was life-affirming as a woman of color.  But White people have never known this world, this culture, this life.  They’re just experiencing it for the first time…

Wakanda Forever made me cry for all that we have lost. My grief for the loss of T’Challa, our King and the wonderful actor, Chadwick Boseman, who clearly showed the best of who we can be, if we just weren’t so selfish and self-absorbed.

Wakanda Forever made me cry because finally, I saw all sides of who I am on the big screen. The beautiful Black part, the exquisite Latin part, the powerful woman part (Oh my God, writing that just made me cry again).

Wakanda Forever made me cry because in my heart I know it should not have taken this long. I see how much we’ve lost as a people – as Americans – across the world, in our stupid hateful racism. We have suppressed so much talent and beauty and it breaks my heart for who we all might’ve been – White people, I’m including you in this too. My loss is your loss ten-fold.

Wakanda Forever made me cry because even in my sadness I see the light, the possibility, the momentum to be better than we used to be as people. We are here now. Maybe slower than it needed to be, but goodness, we are here now and hopefully we’ll keep moving forward without taking too many steps back. 

Till next time, 🙅🏽‍♀️

Carmen

12 thoughts on “My Loss Is Your Loss, Ten-Fold

  1. After I read your words I watched the trailer and for sure it is a powerful movie.
    Unfortunately your words ” I see how much we’ve lost as a people – as Americans – across the world, in our stupid hateful racism.” it is not only the Americans, this racism is everywhere. I live in a country (Italy) with a large demographic deficit that will create major social problems in a few years, but nonetheless we push away people who are less fortunate than us and were born on the other side of the Mediterranean sea.
    It is very sad.
    I’m too afraid of covid to go to a theater now but for sure I’ll watch the movie when it will be available on Disney.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Robert, thank you for that perspective. I stand corrected. For me, my sadness is based on my own experience here at home in the United States. But of course, you are 100% correct. Thank you for that. Also, I completely understand and respect your decision to wait for it to be out on Disney. Covid has been devastating and I appreciate you taking care of yourself – first and foremost. But, when you do see it, let me know and we’ll have to talk about it for sure! Hugs.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so glad that there is a trend for making movies with more ethnicities represented. It’s especially powerful when the characters and storyline is compelling, with no stereotypes. I am still looking for an Irish/Mexican role model…😁

    Liked by 1 person

  3. When the movie “42” about Jackie Robinson was being made they shot some of it here in my town of Chattanooga. Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford were here to shoot the film. I think Chadwick left us way too soon. I am glad that “Wakanda Forever” is getting praise.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh Rick. I’m so sorry. If I was in your area, I’d come over and take care of her so you could watch it in the theater. But rest assured, as soon as it comes out on Disney or streaming, you’ll still enjoy the same things I did — it’s one of those movies that will stay with you forever. Hugs. And thank you again.

      Liked by 1 person

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