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He Is King T’Challa

Reflecting….I thoroughly enjoyed and was so proud when I saw Black Panther on a Sunday matinee afternoon with one of my BFFs. Looking at my receipt, it was February 18, 2018 at 3 p.m., in Durham, NC. On that day, I fully understood the hoopla—the media footage of people dressed up in African attire at showings, wearing facial expressions of pride. It’s resonating that the glow in their eyes was filled with emotion and relief, as they clearly spoke excitement and, “Finally…..” It was a movement, a time in history that created a shift. It was an introduction to Wakanda, and it was needed! It was necessary! It was time to embrace a new king–He is (and always will be), King T’Challa!

Millions of people are still heartbroken, and even a week later, still in shock over the passing of Chadwick Boseman, our King T’Challa. Yes, we are grieving his passing, as if he were a cousin, a friend we’ve longed to have, an well-liked acquaintance or our very own personal superhero. We’re further saddened, yet so humbled, by the way he chose to live out his God-given passion and purpose, while struggling with the challenges of colon cancer–Just wow–Just wow… 😦 Such strength–Such grace—So much dignity—What a force of perseverance—What a ‘marvel’ of a man…

For me, Chadwick was indeed a king. The way he approached the character with so much depth and acting artistry in his portrayal of an African king did more for Black culture than most people realize. He channeled royalty in manhood, gracefulness, chivalry, strength, compassion, courageousness, and love for family in a way we can’t forget. He gave us a passable torch to believe in these traits—that these characteristics are attainable. He gave little black boys, as well as all people of color, the boldness in believing we are worthy. Our blackness, the melanin that God chose for our skin is not sub-par, it is no less superior. It is beautiful; it’s handsome; it’s bold; it’s powerful; it is to be valued and we should value ourselves!! He let us know, or reminded us that we can rise above the negative statistics that plague black boys/men in this country. He gave us so much to hold on to as the Black Panther, and in how he carried himself as a confident, intelligent, well-spoken, culturally-aware man of Faith. He reminded us that an HBCU education is not a stronghold to Hollywood success, or any success for that matter. In a culture of ignorance, in which some still think that areas of the South rarely give us a pathway of intellect or to excel , it was ‘bamblasted’ by his South Carolina roots. Amazing…

Yes, it is further amazing and awe-inspiring in that he left us with inspiring “growth” words that may be more impactful in his death, than when he spoke them…Sadly, we’re paying more attention now. Three of his quotes have settled in my spirit in a special way. They, like others, are so profound and thought-provoking… “Fearlessness means taking the first step, even if you don’t know where it will take you. It means being driven by a higher purpose, rather than by applause. It means knowing that you reveal your character when you stand apart, more than when you stand with the crowd.”~~~~~“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything You gave me.” ~~~~“Savor the taste of your triumphs today, don’t just swallow them all whole without digesting what is actually happening here. Look down over what you conquered and appreciate what God has brought you through.”

Rest in power and grace, you beautiful soul, Chadwick Boseman, our King T’Challa. It is because of you that we can cross our arms over our chest and say with so much love, passion, honor, and pride, “Wakanda Forever!”

P.S. Post pics rockin’ your Black Panther gear on any TCV social media platform. They will be showcased on a TCV page (in production).

Peace & Blessings,

Lisa B

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