Chadwick Boseman, Beloved Black Panther Star, Dies At 43

Chadwick Boseman, Beloved Black Panther Star, Dies At 43

Today Black TV Film Crew mourns the loss of actor and writer Chadwick Boseman. As reported by many media outlets, he succumbed to colon cancer after a 4-year battle. We fell in love with the actor’s work after seeing him portray historical African American icons James Brown, and Jackie Robinson but it was his portrayal of King T’Challa in Black Panther that truly inspired us.

I wanted to write this letter to him to share how we feel.

Dear Chadwick, 

My son and I went to see you on opening weekend in Black Panther. For a mom, raising a teenage son, you were everything I wanted my son to see and more. Superhero movies with all of their strength, flash, and courage to fight evil were always portrayed by the White boys. No shade though. We got love for Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, and Chris Hemsworth. But when we saw you on that big screen… Chadwick as T’Challa… our eyes became as big as our hearts. We loved the dignity with which you carried the character and the grace in which you moved. 

At times we held hands in the movie, we wanted to make sure we weren’t dreaming.

I remember stealing glances at my son as the movie played. His grin was wide and his eyes were wider. At times we held hands in the movie, we wanted to make sure we weren’t dreaming. King T’Challa was handsome, intelligent, witty, protective and as cool as all the other Marvel superheroes. Probably cooler. Plus, and perhaps most importantly, he had some melanin. Indeed. He was a sexy chocolate bar, a tall mocha latte, some man candy with bright white teeth. For Black single women watching Black Panther, T’Challa was a dream—the man you wished would hit you up on Facebook for the digits—the man you wished would slide into your IG DMs. 

But, I’m not gonna reduce your essence to your physical attributes. No, you are far more superior than that. The way you carried your Black Panther role and all the others with such excellence inspired all who watched. Whether you were playing James Brown or Jackie Robinson, watching you was magic. Magic. And off the screen too. 

Your way with words. The way you spoke. Always articulate. Always elevating us. To borrow a phrase from WEB DuBois, “You were a credit to your race.” 

There were so many more films we wanted to see you as the star.

Today I speak for myself, my son and all the Black TV Film Crew family when I say, we are gonna miss you terribly. There were so many more films we wanted to see you as the star. There were so many more dreams we wanted to have because of some outfit you wore on the red carpet. There were so many more kids whose faces needed to light up because they saw one of your performances. 

You’ve taken the phrase, “Gone too soon,” and you have underscored it, made it bold and put exclamations behind it. You, sir, were worthy of at least fifty more years. We love you Chadwick and we’re gonna miss you. 

On the day we heard of Chadwick’s passing, we were doing an Instagram Live. Here’s raw reaction of the action moment I heard of him passing. It’s toward the end of the clip.

What The Black Panther Movie Did For Bald, Black Women

What The Black Panther Movie Did For Bald, Black Women

Jurline Redeaux, courtesy of Instagram

As Black Panther secures its place in history as the 10th highest grossing film of all time, I wanted to share the impact that the film has had on black, bald women.

Not everyone chooses their baldness. Not everyone looks into the mirror and says, “I’m going for the big chop.” For some 6.8 million Americans, the decision is made for them as a result of Alopecia. Alopecia, the hair loss condition, wreaks havoc on a woman’s self esteem. Alopecia tells women they’re abnormal, they’re unattractive, they’re undateable—they’re worthless. But Black Panther and the warriors of Wakanda did something for bald, black women that had NEVER been done before. They recognized them as strong, beautiful, valuable, and regal.

“There are so many women of color who are hiding behind their wigs and their weaves.” —Jurline Redeaux

I would have missed this point entirely had I not connected with Jurline Redeaux, a member of Black TV Film Crew and a black woman who has suffered from Alopecia for more than 30 years. In an initiative to connect with our members, we reposted member photos late last week when we came across Jurline. She posted a photo of herself in a chair, her head shiny and bald, with the caption, “Black Panther screening in Long Beach. #warriorgoddess.” I guess it was the hashtag that got me, but it was also the glow in her face, the smile, and her eyes. She seemed proud. Her photo oozed, “I am a warrior goddess.” And so we reposted it. And what happened after is what inspired this article.

“The Black Panther movie empowered me. After I saw the preview with the women who were bald, I was empowered to go to the opening bald.” —Jurline Redeaux

When Jurline saw that we had selected her photo on Black TV Film Crew’s Instagram page. She left this comment, “You got me crying this morning. I used to be so ashamed of my baldness that I used to sleep in my wig.”

Courtesy Jurline Redeaux instagram

Sleep in your wig? An awakening began. I perused Jurline’s Instagram and I saw a photo of the warriors of Wakanda united with a photo of black women all rocking close cropped, bald heads. I wanted to know why Jurline was ashamed. And I wanted her to know how regal she appeared in her photo. And so I responded, “You are beautiful. Your image will inspire others who struggle with baldness.”

But that was just the beginning. The day I met Jurline via Instagram, I was a guest on Karima’s Show & Tell radio show. The question was raised, “What do you think is the cultural impact of Black Panther?” Me and three other guests gave varied answers but the most riveting answer was given by Danny Asshole (that’s what he calls himself.) I’m paraphrasing but the essence of his statement was, “Those beautiful black women with them bald heads… Before Black Panther, I would have never considered dating a woman with a bald head. But now… Those women were sexy. Ummph. They did something to me.”

I left the studio realizing Danny’s comments and Jurline’s photos and comments were related. Black Panther had impacted people in a way I hadn’t realized. Black Panther impacted the way people saw black women with bald heads. And, Black women with bald heads no longer had to feel ashamed of their baldness because the #1 movie in the world said, “You are beautiful, strong, regal and valuable.”

LEARN THE ART OF THE PITCH FROM OUR OWN SQUEAKY MOORE

I interviewed Jurline shortly after my mind began to connect the dots. This is my summary of what the Black Panther movie did for bald, black women with help from Jurline.

1. It made them beautiful to others who did not see them that way.

“There are men who will straight up say, ‘I don’t want to date a woman with no hair.’ There are men who will say to a woman suffering from Alopecia, ‘I don’t want to see you without your hair on.’” —Jurline Redeaux

2. It gave bald women freedom.

“I went to church for the first time bald after I saw Black Panther. And they ushered me to the front. I feel free, I’m no longer ashamed.”

3. It gave women boldness.

“I’ve been other places bald, but now when I go, I’m bold with it, I’m regal.” —Jurline Redeaux

4. It connected people to their ancestors.

“I believe my people suffered from Alopecia before they were brought to America. My grandmother suffered from it. When I saw the women on screen, not only did it empower me, it connected me to my people.” —Jurline Redeaux

5. It gave a sense of pride.

“Black Panther made me proud to be bald. I’m proud.”

Not too long ago, a black teen girl had her wig snatched off at school. The video and article went viral on Facebook. She, too, suffers from alopecia. Imagine how she may feel now knowing that bald is beautiful and bald is being praised. Hopefully, she’s a bit more inspired and empowered. I loved the Black Panther movie even before I realized how it positively impacted black, bald women. But learning of this cultural impact made me appreciate the efforts of the cast and crew even more. To produce a body of work which is so giving to the community is the ultimate act of love.

Has Black Panther inspired you in some way? If so, leave it in the comments.

A Wrinkle In Time Is Not In Competition With Black Panther

A Wrinkle In Time Is Not In Competition With Black Panther

A Wrinkle In Time IS A Wrinkle In Time

When A Wrinkle In Time hit theaters last week, I was disappointed when I saw  articles comparing Wrinkle with Black Panther. Black Panther in its fourth week at the box office bested A Wrinkle In Time as it did every other film that came out that week. But A Wrinkle In Time doesn’t have to make as much money at the box office as Black Panther in order to be a good movie. A Wrinkle In Time doesn’t have to make $1 Billion at the box office to be a good movie. The only thing A Wrinkle In Time has to do is be a good movie.

When I thought about the people who were pitting A Wrinkle In Time against Black Panther, I remembered the readings from my Afro Studies class at Hampton University. Those classes taught me about the field negro and and house negro and the slave masters who pitted them against each other. I remembered the discussion in class about the animosity between light-skinned and dark-skinned people of African descent.

I remembered learning that people who pitted black people against each other always had an agenda–to divide and conquer.

But there will be no division here, not with these two movies, not with these two directors.

Ava Duvernay, who is the director of A Wrinkle In Time, is not in competition with Ryan Coogler who is the director of Black Panther.

They are colleagues, sister and brother in arms, two African Americans who are fortunate enough to helm the #1 and #2 movies in the entire United States.

That’s what they are. What they aren’t? They are not enemies. They are not two people routing for the other to fail. Sometimes people who write about the entertainment business but are not actually working as creators in the entertainment business forget a few things.

  1. Black creators who’ve worked so hard to make it believe in the success of their fellow black creatives.
  2. Black creatives know that with every success from a fellow colleague, it increases their chance of success.
  3. There are enough opportunities to go around.

If there is anything that I’ve learned helming Black TV Film Crew with a network of over 4,000 people it is this: Black creatives believe in each other. We do. We want you to succeed because if you succeed that means we can be successful.

I’m not going to call out the slave masters who pit Ava against Ryan. But I will say, “Go back to the plantation. Slavery is over.”

We will continue to support our creatives in every shape, form and fashion. And to keep it really, real Disney owns both of these movies. So, uh, there is no division, it is ALL DISNEY.

 

 

 

 

 

Black Panther Tea

Black Panther Tea

This weekend we’re on the hunt for the Black Panther Brisk tea. We have no intention of drinking it. We just want to look at the cans and feel proud. Can anyone relate?

When we find these teas, we will be posting additional photos!!!

Never miss a blog update.

Get your Black Panther Tickets

Get your Black Panther Tickets

We want to encourage everyone to get their Black Panther tickets as soon as they can. Do not list to anyone tell you that it’s sold out. Please check for yourself. We want to support this movie and show Marvel and the world why we gonna need Black Panther 2!!!! I purchased my tickets today. My son and I will be seeing the movie on Friday, February 16 at 5:15pm.