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When is the last time something really caught you off guard in the best way? Have you ever read a book and thought ‘how did the author write the protagonist as me but with another name?’ Maybe an artist took a really painful subject, but found a way to comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. Or maybe you played a video game that used parkour mechanics that surprisingly made you do some soul searching.

Refunct is another reason why video games can be an interesting means of not only relaxing and exploring new worlds, but exploring what makes you, you.

“I want to be an artist!” It’s a bold statement and this can mean that you want to sing/make music, write, act, pursue visual art, animate, dance, etc. You will get flack and compliments. You will be told that there are rules and people may ask “how dare you break the rules?!” Art can be a confusing world if you believe that you are limited, but Austin Kleon’s Steal Like An Artist says otherwise.
Austin Kleon is a writer and artist that lives in Austin, Texas and is the author of Newspaper Blackout, a redacted poetry collection. His work has been featured on NPR’s Morning Edition, The New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. Kleon says at the start that this advice is what he would have given his younger creative self. No matter what your age, experience is a good teacher, but it can be a hard one, so readers have a prime opportunity to learn before potentially getting burned and/or confused. Kleon lists his 10 pieces of creative advice on the back of the book, so you may believe this is the whole package. However, Kleon delves into each piece of advice with more subcategories of advice.
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Steal Like An Artist is quite a forward title and it is the first piece of advice that Kleon gives. He points out the difference between appreciation and appropriation, or a means of transformation versus mere imitation. Kleon starts with these ideas because he wants people to remember that nothing is original. Every creative work is a variation or a shift. As soon as we realize that, it takes off the pressure of thinking that we have to make an idea out of thin air and it allows for the creative process to begin. Kleon emphasizes looking at masters of crafts and asking how could someone else have done it or what would this master do if he collaborated with this master? Kleon is telling readers that ideas do not just pop out of thin air. It is a hybrid of conversation, calculation, research, and then you may feel that you got hit with what appears to be “random inspiration.”
Kleon goes on to tell readers how to feed the creative beast and it seems that the overarching theme is balance. Know when to type on the computer and when to write in a journal. Know when to be at the easel and when to be at the tablet. Know when to stimulate yourself and when to have a lazy day. Know when to stay in the room and when to leave the room. EVEN, know when to stay in your town and when to leave your town! This is not Kleon’s advice verbatim, but the idea is to know which way to bend, so that you reach the sunshine and keep growing. The theme of balance has led me to see that this one of the best books I have read about being a creator. Kleon emphasizes that there is no magic spell to unlocking creativity, but proper balance and decision-making certainly brings you closer to unlocking creativity.
In essence, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book and I would recommend that you go to Austin Kleon’s website to look at his other works.

It’s been a minute since I made music post on writing music. If I’m not writing here, I’m writing elsewhere and music helps me to churn out the words. Here’s some playlists and mixes that may float your boat.

This is actually a mix I made 1-2 months ago. I’m writing fantasy and sci-fi stories at the moment and I wanted music that captured the magnamity of the themes and adventures that could be found in those genres. Music featured in this playlist includes work from Black Panther’s Ludwig Goransson, Marcus Warner (who is brilliant and rising), Hans Zimmer, and more. I’m still adding music to it!


I just got into Chillhop this year and it is super great if you don’t want to listen to anything to intense. This mix is from the YouTube Channel Chillhop Music and it is an ecclectic, varied mix for the genre. They have plenty of mixes and livestreams to keep tihngs interesting. I personally turn to Chillhop when I am writing a blog post article or when I’m doing schoolwork. It might be great if you’re writing a story with a relaxed vibe or maybe you just want a soundtrack to read your book to. Either way, Chillhop will keep you mellow.


Another Chillhop(or Jazzhop or lofi hiphop, whatever you want to call it, but it’s good) mix and this time from the YouTube Channel Dreamy! This mix seems to inspire one to listen to that quiet inner dreamer. I’ve found that mixes like this are good if you feel like the world around you or your environment seems to be too loud. It lets you just float through the present.


This is the first Chillhop mix I really got into this year. My ear hears subtle nostalgia and sunny days. The mix is brightly colored, but stills keeps you in a mellow mood, helping you visualize the budding of spring.

Sidenote: If you are experiencing a lot of anxiety/stress and need to slow down, I advise you to stop what you’re doing or continue what you’re doing and listen to one of these mixes, minus my epic one. The epic one might just stress you out more. 😁 Maybe it’ll put you in a better state of mind.

In Spring 2018, I had the opportunity to go to New York City with three professors and some other students from the Studio Art Department from College of Charleston. Let it be known that I have never traveled beyond Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida (Disney World in elementary school). Let it be known that I have also never been on a plane. Whole bunch of firsts happening.

New York, Stay Remarkable

Do things that scare you.


The concept of being in a flying metal machine for a few hours was scary, but the thing that helped ramp up my anxiety was going through security. When it came to the plane, I was like “My gosh, at least I can sit down now.” Having to dump all your junk into those bins in a timely manner, while also half stripping (because I’m dressed for New York cold) was enough to overstimulate me. On the way back to South Carolina, my chest actually set off the body scanner, so I had to be checked there. It’s not like it was traumatic because a woman did it, she explained why and where her hands were going. I should count myself lucky because my roommate set off a large portion of her body.

Back to the plane.

Getting off the ground was a surprisingly slow experience because everybody’s got to get situated, flight attendants check that the compartments are shut and people got their butts in their chairs, we disconnect from the tube, stroll around the field, and then we’re racing. Before we took off, my professor wanted to know if I needed to sit with her (in not a window seat). I said no because I wanted to kick my Anxiety disorder in the face. Not gonna lie, when we started racing, I grabbed the arms of my chair, but I stared out the window and watched us lift and tilt towards the sky. There’s nothing like looking at how the world is weaved together below you. Anything could have happened up in the sky, but that did not stop me and I think that’s where the true power is.

NEW YORK!


Y’all my mom is from Co-Ops city in the Bronx and I used to have dreams of Columbia and Julliard, so I was pumped to go there. We landed in LaGuardia in New Jersey and took the bus to get to the subway. I have only seen people traversing the city in the movies, so the hustle and near trampling speed took adjustment, but my professor said that I looked totally chill as we were running around the streets and subways, so maybe my mom’s powers were transferred to me. Yet, she actually hated the subway and I like it. I could do without the sweltering hot, packed in, rush hour episodes…and the two guys who were about to fight when one guy was mad at the world and the other guy thought he could be the hero. I understand that is just a Tuesday, but I’m a girl from the South, so I was a little scared for my life.😁 Still, it did not take away from my doe-eyed fascination as we explored Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.

What I Learned! – Keep New York Remarkable


I was in New York as an art student, so I got to visit the MOMA, the MET, and the Whitney. Beyond art school stuff, I got to walk Times Square, walk through Central Park, and had lunch in Chinatown. From the canvas to the streets, the thing that fascinated me the most was the diversity. You don’t even need to walk half a block to hear an array of accents and languages (the MET had like at least 20 different brochures to accomodate languages), see an array of colors, and witness crazy talent. (There was a busker who killed Photograph and Thinking Out Loud by Ed Sheeran!) I got to see the work of titans like Starry Night by Van Gogh, but there was a lot more things I wouldn’t get to see in South Carolina, like the MET Native American art/artifacts exhibit, the African art/artifacts exhibit, the Middle Eastern art/artifacts exhibit, none of which I finished because they were so expansive. I saw so many colors and diversity in the artwork and in the people and as we move forward into a much more diverse America, we need to appreciate it and uplift that multi-faceted idea. I’m not gonna lie, returning to the South, was a wake up call, but with dangerous tilting finances, New York is way to close to becoming and staying a place of the poorest poor and the richest rich with no healthy range of in between. I’m just saying that I learned that we need to look out for each other and keep every different colored voice and creation in mind, from the past, in the present, and for the future. That is how we can keep New York remarkable and how we can keep the United States remarkable!

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For a long time (many years) and to this day, whenever I listen to music, I don’t just hear the song. I always see something connected to it in my mind like a scene from a movie. I always see myself performing the song through singing and dance. Sometimes, it’s just dance, but usually it’s a hybrid. This must have to do with the fact that I started dancing at a young age and I connect almost every song I listen to with choreography. That was how I found music.

I didn’t have an Ipod or a cell phone I could listen to music on. The only thing I had was my Aaron Carter CD, the Bieber of my MUCH younger days. At first, it was the DVDs from old recitals at a place called Dance Xplosion. My favorite recital CD was actually titled Songs of Yesterday. I was dancing in the lates 1990’s and early 2000’s, so that’s why I can sing songs like ‘Simply Irresistible,’ Shai’s ‘If I Ever Fall in Love,’ or Outkasts “Hey Ya!” Those were the songs I locked in memory. My favorite part of the DVD was a medley of songs by an artist that I didn’t realize was an icon. My favorite part of the medley was the “The Way You Make Me Feel.” Yeah. Dance was how I found out about Michael Jackson’s music without even knowing his name. Other than that, I could only get creative by listening to the assorted lists of ringtones on my first phone, a sliding phone, in middle school.

Fast forward to college and I’m writing, actually writing a book with hopes of publishing. However, something was missing and it was movement. In Billy Collins’ “Introduction to Poetry,” he writes about how teaching students to write poetry is difficult because they want to wrestle a meaning out of the thing, instead of enjoying the elusive in between nature of it. We’re to “walk inside the poem’s room/ and feel the walls for a light switch.” He wants us to “waterski/ across the surface of a poem/ waving at the author’s name on the shore.” It seems that he was on the cusp of saying that writers need to feel the in betweens of writings, the things that could not be captured by words, the things that had no perfect meaning for the analysis, or maybe did not even need to be so harshly analyzed. It seems that part of the problem was that the students he was referring to were slaves to the rhythm of a dichotomous relationship between the body and mind. It’s like what Christine Giancatarino says about imagining “a head for ‘thinking’ and arms for ‘writing’.” Yet, writing is a physical act and much of my early learning was physical as I told you that I started dancing in a studio at a young age. Much like Giancatarino said, I felt locked up behind my desk and chair in my classes after I stopped dancing, even if I wasn’t always consciously thinking about my imprisonment. Yet, Giancatarino argues that if we take our writing and embody it, then we can open new doors for ourselves.

So, I realized that movement was missing and I tried to compensate with Blogilates by Cassey Ho (which is great by the way) and trying to teach myself choreography. Yet, I am still writing. Then, I tried to allow myself to discover how I thought of my story. Much like how my listening to music manifested into a performance in my head, my stories have their own playlists with their own songs. I see the characters moving in space and I hear their voices. I realized that it was not just meant to be written, but performed. Then, I let myself doubt about the years I missed on dancing in a studio and what would happen if my book also became a performance, but I reflect on a Martha Graham quote. “There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all of time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist…and it will be lost…It is not your business to determine how good it is nor how valuable nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours clearly and directly, to keep the channel open.”

Now we’re at the present and I’m 22 still writing my book and still planning on making it into a performance. Whenever the fear comes for me, I think about WildaBeast a dancer and choreographer who started learning at 18. I also think about Langston Hughes’ “Dream Variations” where I dance with freedom and no chains to hold me down in my fear of expectations.

List post!

Ok, so as a multipotentialite I have lots of interests and lots of journals, some with defined purposes and others a hodgepodge of everything. Here’s what you can do with your journal(s).

1. Brain dump – Write down whatever is on your mind. You don’t need to get specific with this journal’s purpose. It’s everything from that freaky dream you had yesterday to that essay you need to write for History class. ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING.

2. Content creation bullet journal-Do you have a blog? Do you have a Youtube channel? Do you make any sort of content that you plan to post anywhere? Make yourself a journal for content ideas, timelines for the content project, and where you plan to post, and how you plan to market/share it.

3. Daily life bullet journal-Plot out your time and tasks so that you don’t run around like a chicken missing a head. That way, you know that you got a dentist appointment on Tuesday, you have Pilates this afternoon, and you got your list for what to get from the grocery store. All your day to day stuff that you need to remember and schedule would be great for this type of journal!

4. Thought Blurbs-Maybe you have random thoughts that you would like to record. Maybe it’s for big project ideas like a comedy sketch or maybe you had an Oprah AHA moment. It could also be something weird, like “do regular dogs see police dogs and think ‘OH NO IT’S A COP!'” (can’t take credit for that. Thank the wonderful world of Pinterest.)

5. Your favorite things-This category could be combined into other journal types/uses or it could be a nice standaline. Make a mind map of your favorite movies, favorite childhood T.V. shows, favorite art supplies (with a mark sample for pens and such), favorite books, favorite Youtubers, etc.

6. Inspiration-Thsis could mean jotting down quotes from people you admire, pasting in stories or articles that put a bounce in your step, or whatever lifts you higher.

7. Vision board journaling-Maybe you have a lot of different future aspirations and you would like something to look to so that you can be reminded of those dreams. Paste in pictures or make drawings of the car that you want, the type of house that you would like, the state you want to move to, conventions you would like to go to, companies that interest you, the business(es) you want to build, the grade that you want for your finals etc. Still, a vision without a deadline is a dream, so for each of your desires make an action plan for how you are going to get there. The action plan could include dates to hit certain steps, people to contact, classes to take, or whatever taks you need to hit to get to your goal.

8. Comics-Maybe you have interesting story ideas and you want to see them come to life. It could be annoying everyday life shenanigans or an epic sci-fi adventure. Draw them out and post them to social media because you never know who’s day you are going to improve or don’t post them if that’s not your thing. If you do post them, do add a watermark to your work so that it’s more difficult for someone to tale credit for your work!

9. Online course notes-I’m enrolled in a few online courses that don’t even have to do with my undergraduate degree, but I need to keep notes for them all the same. I’m working on online business and writing courses and making notes for each of the modules and lessons is a great reference. I suggest you make things less difficult for yourself and take some notes!

10. Dream records-It could be that you are really int recording your dreams or the one that you had last night was really out there and you’re not sure if you should write a fantasy epic or talk to someone. (I had a dream of this nature and I have chosen to stow it away for a future story, maybe a fantasy epic. Not my current WIP though.) Either way, write those things down.

11. Sketchbook-Whether you want to doodle or go photorealistic, draw out the images floating in your mind. Don’t feel like you need to abide by any sketchbook rules you have been told either. You write in your sketchbook, streak color on the pages for no reason and draw over them, or whatevr else comes to mind.

12. Poems-It doesn’t matter if they make it into a collection of if they are just for your comfort, write down those thoughts or observations. You never know. One day you might look back and think “that’s actualy pretty good” or you’ll have a good laugh at some of them.

13. Songwriting-It doesn’t if it’s just the lyrics or if it’s just the chords. Shoot, you may not even know the chords, but if you’ve got the ear and heart to write a song, go ahead and write it down. You can worry about what that instrument is called later.

14. Movies/Shows to watch and reviews and fanart-You might be one timer or a repeat offender when it comes to you favorite movies, but keeping a record to look back could bring back fond memories. Maybe you are a wrier/storyteller yourself and you want to know how to hook viewers/readers just like your favorite movies do. Make a record of those things from the unconventional character flaws to the worldbuilding. It could be great for notes if you have a movie reveiw Youtube channel or blog! Also, fanart. Need I say more?

15. Books to read and reviews and fanart-Much like the movie journal idea, you could record favorite memories from the book, quotes, and make interesting fanart, as well. Also, if you are a storyteller, you can write down things that an author did that you really like and would want to include in stories that you are writing.

 

I am in my fourth year of college and soon to go into my fifth year because I have a lot of Senior projects going on. I thought that it would make sense to take an extra year to just focus on my Senior projects as opposed to running myself ragged to graduate Spring 2018. One of those projects is writing the first book in an African-inspired fantasy series. I have had the idea for this story since I was in middle school and now 22 year-old me is writing in hopes of publishing. However, I am starting to get to the point where I am doubting if I can do this and one of the biggest culprits behind that is the dreaded ACT II of my book.

I had a loose plot for my book before and my very first draft was horrible. How do I know?

  1. All first drafts are horrible.
  2. I started the first draft in middle school and finished it 1 or 2 years ago, meaning that my writing style went on a roller coaster ride.

I knew I needed help, but as much of a multipontentialite that I am,  I did not have time to shove a third major or second minor onto my academic plate. Still, I needed help, so I scoured different blog posts with tips and tricks on how to format your novel, do worldbuilding, and all that jazz. However, I hadn’t found anything that was cohesive enough for me. Don’t get me wrong. I found a lot of great tips and articles. I have a board on Pinterest specifically for writing help and encouragement.

However, I still needed some kind of guide and that’s when I came across Tomi Adeyemi. This girl became a fast hero of mine in fall 2017 when I found her writing course. She was offering a free pre-course on plotting a book that you recieve links to via email. Then, you make a decisison to buy the whole class or not and I am so glad that I decided to purchase the whole class. I would not have gotten as far as I did if I did not take Tomi’s class. If you don’t have time to fit writing courses into you current studies and you really want to invest in your plotting skills, I would recommend that you take her course. It’s a go at your own pace type of thing and you purchase it with one payment. You also have access to the course forever with no recurring fees and there’s a Facebook group of people that are also signed up for the course that feel your plotting pain!😅

Zooming back to the present, I am at the beginning of Act II and trying to build a convincing world. One thing I have been doing is studying other people’s fictional worlds. Some of these include the worlds of Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass and A Court of Thorns and Roses series and most recently Tomi Adayemi’s Children of Blood and Bone. I also found this free wonderful worldbuilding guide from Sara Ridley who runs the website Life of A Storyteller. As I’m writing, I’m answering all the questions so that I have a thorough sense of how my world functions. I’m still writing Act II and am trying to remind myself that I am shoveling sand into a pile and that I can build castles later or I could say that this story is geode that I haven’t cracked open yet. Even if you don’t end up signing up for Page Turning Plot from Tomi Adayemi–which I REALLY recommend–, I recommed that you invest in your writing, whether that means purchasing a seat for an online course, checking out a book in the library, or scouring Pinterest boards for links to helpful articles and blog posts. The struggle is real and I have to keep telling you and I that we can do this! (Also, it doesn’t matter  if you’re writing high fantasy or a research paper for second period, we all need a little encouragment!) 😁 Happy writing!

*BOOK AND MOVIE SPOILERS AHEAD*

As a creator of color, I thought that Black Panther would have hit me the hardest as being a highlight of my year seeing an all black cast, but there was something special about Ava Duvernay’s interpretaion of A Wrinkle in Time. I saw myself more in a Wrinkle in Time than I did in Black Panther. I suppose that is because Ava showed people how to live in the present, while Black Panther showed people what can be imagined and can come to fruition. Read More

SPOILERS AHEAD! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!

I’ll be discussing Black Panther as a storyteller aspiring to get my own work out in the public. I hope you enjoy it! It was actually hard to sit down and capture my thoughts about Black Panther and how it made me feel. There is no word or phrase that could capture the light that I felt in me. Y’all I wanted to cry when I left the theater…and also run and skip through a sunny meadow. Also, where’s my passport? I’m bouncing to Wakanda!

Wakanda


In the midst of writing my own story, I have been getting discouraged because I am currently in the midst of Act II where I am moving between locations and really trying to make the reader believe in the world that I am building around my characters. Black Panther was particularly refreshing because of that worldbuilding. It’s not like viewers were given the grand tour of Wakanda, but it was believable and extraordinary enough that I’m literally upset that I can’t pack up and move. My hope as a creator is to give a frame for interesting settings, in the same way, meaning that I describe it enough while leaving room for the viewer to fill in nitpicky details. What I mean is Ryan Coogler didn’t go through absolutely everything in Wakanda as if I were getting a traveler’s guide or a history book. The crew decided that they would give viewers a taste that was good enough to encourage the viewers to imagine the rest of the buffet, so to speak.

The Women


Hot. Damn.

That is all. Just kidding.

Excuse my language, but I have no better words for how amazing it was to see so many different types of female characters in the film. The fact that each of the women in the film had the agency to be who they wanted to be, rather than be forced into a role that didn’t feel right or genuine for them. I’m all for women who want to be warriors just as much as I’m all for women who want to be traditionally girly. The thing that makes me happy is that fact that the women in the film had the right to choose and you could see how they were satisfied and excelled in the roles in the Wakandan society because of that. The Dora Milaje was fierce.

There’s no question about it and I admire the non-withholding nature of their inner warriors as well as their strong patriotism in defending the nation and the king. Nakia does not necessarily fit into the Dora Milaje’s framework because she is not so much of a traditionalist. She goes off as a spy to do a lone wolf exploration of the world and she even helps T’Challa realize the disparities in the world outside of Wakanda. She has the idea of making a bridge between Wakanda and the rest of the world. Shuri is a kid genius who is not afraid to shine in the lab and Wakanda is not afraid to let her. This freedom and agency could teach the rest of us about how people have to shine in their own way. The only thing we can do is either shun them and silence or nurture them and encourage their true colors. It’s like if you have a seed that you plant and it grows to be an apple tree rather than the orange tree you were expecting it to be. Are you going to preen and chop down the tree until it turns to an orange tree or are you going to cherish it’s unexpected ability to provide you with apples? Wakanda’s telling us to get down with those apples. Or oranges. Or flowers. Whatever is in you.

Who’s the Villain and who’s the Hero? T’Challa and/or Killmonger?


 

Beyond worldbuilding, the characterization and character development in this movie was very compelling and thought-provoking. I was particularly fascinated with Killmonger because it seems like it is easy to identify him on the surface as a villain, but he makes viewers and even T’challa uncomfortable because there is truth to his suffering and anger. The movie showed the parallels and intersections between T’challa and Killmonger, but their experiences in the Ancestral Plain were very telling. When T’chala goes to the Ancestral Plain, he is a grown man facing his murdered father with no boundaries or barriers. When Killmonger goes to the Ancestral Plain, he is initially a little boy, the same lost little boy who lost his father at the hands of the people from the land that his father spoke so fondly about. Killmonger’s childhood self is also conditioned and this is evident when his father says, “No tears for me?” and Killmonger’s child self-responds, “Everybody dies. That’s just life around here.” Since we imagine Black Panther in a present-day aspect, it is easy to imagine how over policing and loss of life in the African American community made Killmonger face more death than any child should see. Part of Killmonger’s issue is that for all the violence and killing he does as a grown man, he is still that little boy who lost his father and felt disowned by his people.

His solution is to do what was done to him as a black kid from Oakland and as a disowned Wakandan. He really does want better for people of color, but he is so caught up in his rage that he will not let go of his “by whatever means necessary” policy. All those complications make Killmonger interesting because it’s not just a case of “oh, he is the villain and take him down.” He makes you uncomfortable because he has some truths and he is so misguided that you just wish he had some sort of redemption beyond the recognition that you could see in his eyes when T’challa struck him with a spear.

 

T’challa’s discomfort speaks volumes too. Even during the Black Panther discussion at the Appollo, Chadwick Boseman spoke about how T’Challa is not totally clean as a hero and could even be considered an enemy. He said that T’challa had “a vibranium spoon in his mouth,” meaning that while Wakanda is great and life’s pretty good, they have had their backs turned on people around the world. The isolation policy can be understood for fear of being exploited for the resources and not wanting to drain Wakanda with major conflicts, much like the rest of the countries in Africa. However, T’challa realizes that while Wakanda has protected itself, there is a discomfort that comes upon him when he thinks about the suffering and conflict in the rest of the world. A symbol of that is Killmonger because he had to directly deal with the effects of Western Imperialism, while T’Challa was born into a higher caste so to speak and privilege. This also speaks to a bigger idea of when certain people who reach goals do not take the time to reach back to the people behind them to help bring them along. Rather, they shun the people behind them because they believe in the mentality of “I have my thing. Oh, you don’t? Sorry, not helping you because I got what I want.”

black panther

I suppose the thing that saves T’Challa is that Killmonger forces him to connect with the racial and imperialistic suffering that he missed out on. In that way, Killmonger also has some heroic qualities to him. Although Killmonger did not live, T’Challa bears the weight of his ancestors sins so to speak and he decides to open up Wakanda to the world so that he can change the course of life for people outside of Wakanda, which is symbolized by the kid that T’Challa speaks to at the end of the movie in Oakland.

There are so many more things I could talk about with this movie, but these were real standout topics to me as a storyteller. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be waiting on my Okoye Pop Funko. Also, what did you think of the movie? Let me know in the comments below.

Ya’ll I saw Black Panther on Friday, February 16, 2018 and I am starstruck and inspired. Yeah, all the stars are closer. As a person of color, seeing this movie definitely had an impact of how I view Black Panther. When I first heard Black Panther, all I knew was that it was a fists up fros out group in the 60’s filled with people of color tirelessly fighting for their rights. I had no idea that at the same time the title Black Panther was bestowed upon a hero. I’m not gonna lie. I didn’t see Avengers Civil War, but I did see clips of the trailers and there was this man running around in a black cat suit. So I was interested and so I googled and so my mom bought the comics. I was so hype to learn about a black hero, an African hero and that he came from an Afrofuturism El Dorado of a city hidden in Africa.
The nature of the story and how it was portrayed on screen shatters stereotypes about Africa and people of color in general in terms of humanization, intelligence, diversity, technology, and culture. Ya’ll I came to the movie in a Dora Milaje shirt and a Wakanda Foreign Exchange student hoodie wrapped around my waist. I was confident that this movie was gonna be bomb and it truly was. It felt so good to look at the characters as dimensional humans who made mistakes and tried to find their pathway, whether it led them to good or evil and not focus on their blackness as a tainting feature. Still, their blackness spoke volumes from the scenes in Oakland, California to Killmonger’s antics and T’Challa’s home in Wakanda.

Black Panther
Believe the hype. It is really good and beyond my liking it as a person of color that gets to see a dynamic superhero of color, Black Panther is genuinely an interesting hero and the world of Wakanda is intriguing as well. As many have said, this isn’t just a nice addition to the Marvel universe. Black Panther is also just a great film and a great story to see even if you know nothing about the Marvel universe. My only issue is that I wanna see more Wakanda and I gotta wait until it’s out on DVD to get some screenshots or find a Wakanda world book or something, which would be really helpful given that I’m having worldbuilding issues in my current WIP.
But thats not all I wanted to talk about. I’m so proud of the people involved in Black Panther because it serves as inspiration for me. I’m writing my own book in the vein of Afrofuturism, but I’m nowhere near done, so I can’t stand with these bomb creatives, but they are helping to push me along. Naturally, since I am still writing, I can’t tell you much but I can show you what’s inspiring me, which is why I opened up my secret Pinterest board on my book…


 

There’ll be a post about my writing later and the general ideas of the book.
I hope that we keep seeing more films about heroes of color and the worlds that they come from. I felt like a kid when I went to go see this movie and I can’t imagine what it was like for the little black girl who walked past me in the theater to see herself on screen in so many different characters with the privilege to so many different identities. Keep Xscaping! Wakanda Forever!

There was a time when I had a lot of anxiety about going into another dance class or any class that was focused on physical movement because of an experience I had when I was in high school. Read More

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