This or That {Book Edition}

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Hello guys! I was checking my email when I saw this post by Paper Fury and since hers was so good, I decided to jump in. So, here are my picks for these Bookish This or That Tag questions.

1. SERIES OR STANDALONE

Standalone. When I was younger I used to be obsessed with series, but now ya girl has too many things to do to finish a series. Exhibit A: I’ve only read the first Harry Potter book.

2. MAGIC EARNED OR MAGIC BORN

I think I prefer magic born because they have to live with it and figure it out, which causes some interesting plot situations.

3. ENEMIES-TO-LOVERS OR FRIENDS-TO-LOVERS

I actually like somewhere in-between but I guess I’ll choose friends-to-lovers.

4. HILARIOUS BANTER OR EMOTIONAL RUIN

Emotional ruin because I like to die when I read books…

5. LOVE TRIANGLE OR INSTA LOVE

Love triangle! Insta love is irritating to me but I love a good love triangle to divide the fandom.

6. KEYBOARD-SMASH FANTASY NAMES OR ALL NAMES START WITH SAME LETTER

Fantasy names, it makes the book more interesting and more memorable.

7. MEAN PARENTS OR DEAD PARENTS

Dead parents because pain again and also mean parents are usually written in an unrealistically annoying way to me.

8. SUPERMODEL LOOKS OR CONSTANTLY SAYS HOW “PLAIN” THEY ARE

Neither. But since I must choose…supermodel looks because the “plain jane” trope is overused.

9. FACE ON COVER VS TYPOGRAPHY ON COVER

TYPOGRAPHY!!! I absolutely cannot stand a model’s face on the cover of a book aghhhh!

10. VILLAIN TURNING A LITTLE GOOD OR HERO TURNING A LITTLE BAD

Hero turning a little bad. I like blurred lines and it’s interesting when you have to ask whether your heroes are actually “good” anyway.

I hope you enjoyed this random little tag, feel free to tell me some of your picks in the comments.

Stay fly,

~Akilah

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My Mom Talks Kpop pt.1

In honor of mother’s day, I thought it would be fun to have my mom answer some questions about Kpop, I just started my phone to record and this is what came out. My sister also chimed in a lot, so her responses are under AJ. Hope you guys like it!

P.S. My mom also chose all these photos so that was fun. Without further ado, leggo!

***

me: What’s your favorite Kpop group

Mom: It’s either BTS or KNK

BTS2

KNK

 

me: ok, and what’s your favorite Kpop song overall

Mom: Well, right now it’s Pentagon’s whatever the name of that song is, I don’t know the name of that song…

me: Shine

Mom: Shine, it looks like they’re having a lot of fun *starts dancing* sorry, can’t see me dancing can you

me: ok, what’s your least favorite group that I stan?

Mom: I don’t kn- Vixx!

me: I don’t really stan Vixx but ok

Mom: I don’t know, I don’t know all of who you stan and I don’t know if I’ve seen all of who you stan so I don’t know. Let’s see… mmmm I don’t know

me: You can say Vixx that’s fine

Mom: Well I don’t know Vixx, do I know Vixx?

me: Why’d you say Vixx then?

Mom: Because that’s the one we’ve been talking about, they’re going to have a concert and you wanted to go the concert

me: No, that’s VAV

Mom: Ohhhh, I do not know if there’s a group that you stan that I don’t like.

me: ok so who’s your bias in BTS?

Mom: *starts mouthing into my phone* My bias in BTS is the one who wears the white shirt, I don’t know his name.

Jungkook

me: Jungkook

Mom: Jungkook… And then there’s Rap Monster and the bowl cut guy

RM

me: Hey, you remembered Rap Monster good job! The bowl cut guy is J-Hope

Jhope

Mom: J-Hope

me: ok, and who’s your bias in KNK

Mom: It’s between the two tallest guys and I don’t know their names either

me: Seungjun and Youjin

Mom: Seungjun and Youjin

AJ: It’s like you’re her translator

me: um, what’s your favorite song by BTS

AJ: *mouths* Baepsae (Silver spoon)

Mom: I don’t think that’s my favorite, Anaya is mouthing-

AJ: shh!

Mom: Baepsae, but I don’t think it’s my favorite, it is the dance practice where it looks like they’re having the most fun- DNA!

me: DNA is your favorite song?

Mom: Yes

me: ok cool

Mom: *leans into my phone* La, la, la, la, la!

*we laugh for a solid minute*

me: ok, and what’s your favorite song by KNK?

Mom: Knock! I love the marching in the video, or in the dance practice, in the dance

me: And what other Kpop groups do you like?

Mom: I like: Monsta Monsta Monsta X!

Monsta X

me: *laughing* And who’s your bias in Monsta X?

Mom: Is the guy in Monsta X- does Monsta X do Beautiful?

AJ: yessss

Mom: So it’s the guy who looks like Gook Du? (Character from Kdrama Strong Woman Do Bong Soon)

me: Yes, Shownu is his name

Shownu.PNG

Mom: Shownu… *yells passionately* Shownu!

AJ: I remember that, we helped you remember: “this show ain’t old, this show new!”

me: So, what’s your favorite song by Monsta X?

Mom: I guess it would be Beautiful

me: ok, and do you have a bias wrecker in Monsta X?

Mom: No one wrecks my biases!

me: ah ok…

AJ: Except J-Hope and Namjoon (RM) and Seungjun and Youjin…

me: Any other groups you like?

Mom: …Probably, but I don’t know their names. Oh! I think I’m ok with EXO.

EXO.PNG

me: mhmm, and what’s your favorite EXO song?

Mom: The only one I know the name of is- wait a minute! Who does Boss?

me/AJ: That’s NCT

Mom: hmmm, NCT is the one with all those different little company- or group outreach…

AJ: Sub-units

Mom: Yes, sub-units. I do like that song, but what was the question?

AJ: *starts dancing to Black on Black*

me: Your favorite EXO song

Mom: The only one that comes to mind is The Eve. I’m sure there are others but I don’t know the names

me: What’s your favorite Kpop music video

Mom: Rain by KNK

me: ok, and what’s your favorite dance practice overall?

Mom: …My tried and true that I exercise to every now and then is Good Boy but I wouldn’t say that it’s my favorite. Uh, it’s the one I can do, but I want to be able to do the other ones. I think I’m going with DNA and Boss. What was the question?

me: Favorite dance practice

Mom: Yeah DNA and Boss and Pentagon’s Shine

***

That’s about it for this one guys, but there will be a part two.

Be sure to comment whether your agree with my mom’s Kpop picks and subscribe so you won’t miss part 2… and possibly part 3.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author’s Notes & Aux Cords: This Side of Home

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Music and books are two of my favorite things, so when I had the idea to combine them I couldn’t wait. This series is where I create playlists of songs that remind me of or match with my favorite books. First up is This Side of Home by Renee Watson. If you want more general info about this book and author check out this post. Also, this post contains some mild spoilers since I’m discussing the plot along with the songs, so please be aware. Without further ado: the playlist!

 

17 | Mahalia

“But I’m tired of hiding for the benefit of my peers
What’s so wrong with shining?
Why’ve you got so much fear?”

The main characters of this narrative: Maya and Nikki are 17 in the story. Maya especially feels as if she’s hiding because she dates a white guy and doesn’t believe her friends will approve, especially because they see her and she sees herself as a very woke activist-minded type of person. As the narrative progresses she develops more security in who she is and realizes that who she dates doesn’t change who she is.

Ma City | BTS

“I don’t know what to say 나 죽어도 말 못해
내게 억만 금을 주고 딴 데 살라고?
ah no thanks”

“I don’t know what to say. Even if I die, I can’t say it
Even if you give me a hundred thousand dollars to live somewhere else
ah no thanks”

As Portland becomes more and more gentrified, Maya and Nikki come to grips with what it means to love and support their city. Although economically, it may be better to sell their house and move on, their hearts belong to Portland and they wouldn’t have it any other way.

Put Your Records On | Corinne Bailey Rae

“Maybe sometimes we feel afraid, but it’s alright
The more you stay the same, the more they seem to change
Don’t you think it’s strange?”

When the twins were children, they made plans with their friend Essence to attend Spelman College all together. As they get older though, Essence moves away, the twins move farther apart, and their lives move forward in different directions. Maya thinks she’s stayed the same and all the things around her have changed.

Bubbles | Jamila Woods

“Black girl be in a bubble, bubble
Floating quietly out of trouble, trouble
They call you shy
Always ask why you listen before you speak”

This book deals a lot with Maya’s experience as a black girl, always having to hold back, answer others questions and deal with consequences for speaking up. She has the heart of an activist though and although she is in a sort of a “bubble” she manages to pop it over time.

Younger | Seinabo Sey

“There is a light to all this darkness if only we
Fight against them telling us how we should be
I refuse to have you break me
When you know you ain’t getting any”

I thought this song fit, first of all because the twins last name is Younger. But more than that, this story deals with gentrification and the effects of that on Maya, Nikki, and their neighborhood. As more white and Latina students move into their school zone, their principal starts to give special treatment to those students and doing things like cutting the Black history program in favor of a diversity fair. Maya and her friends fight back against this and refuse to simply accept the unfair treatment in their neighborhood and school.

Here’s the link to the Spotify playlist if you want to check it out, and feel free to follow me on Spotify!

 

Leave a comment below telling me what you thought about the playlist. If you’ve read the book, do you think my choices fit?

Stay fly,

~Akilah

What Went Down April + Mixtape

So I started drafting this post and realized that the normal format I do for monthly wrap-ups just wasn’t cutting it, instead, I decided to just talk about the highlight of April: my college tours trip. And of course my monthly mixtape because April music was lit.

Spontaneous trips are always fun, and this one was no different. We set out before the sun on a Thursday morning and drove the 4 hours to Atlanta from Nashville. First stop was Clark Atlanta University for a tour. The campus is in the heart of ATL which gives it the city feel that I like. While we were there, we had the amazing opportunity to see their art gallery, which was my favorite part.

The fashion students created a look based on certain works of art and accompanying pieces of poetry. It was so beautiful and completely my thing.

 

Next we went to the historical Tuskegee University in Alabama. This is the university Booker T. Washington started after reconstruction. Just being on the campus after reading Booker T. Washington’s autobiography last year was powerful.

Our final stop was Alabama State University in Montgomery, Alabama. Our tour there was so polished and informative, all the students and faculty we met were kind and helpful, that school made an amazing first impression.

Overall, this trip got me even more excited about college because now I can feel it becoming real for me. It was a really fun trip and all of the schools were so worth my visit.

 

Shifting gears because I just really wanted to share my playlist like this was a regular What Went Down post, here are my most loved/played songs of April 2018.

  • Don’t Leave Me ~BTS
  • Chance of Love ~TVXQ!
  • Thunder ~EXO
  • Blooming Day ~EXO CBX
  • Sweet Dreams ~EXO CBX
  • Polygon Dust ~Porter Robinson
  • Jealousy ~Monsta X
  • Shine ~Pentagon
  • Redbone ~Childish Gambino
  • No Scrubs ~TLC
  • Haru Haru (acoustic version) ~BigBang
  • Tender ~Jones
  • Plz Don’t Be Sad ~Highlight
  • I Got You ~Jaylon Ashaun
  • lovely ~Billy Eilish, Khalid
  • Rewind ~GOT7
  • Us ~GOT7
  • Baby Don’t Like It ~NCT 127
  • 90s Babies ~Victoria Monet
  • Mad Generation ~Victoria Monet
  • Paradise ~GOT7
  • sidetoside ~Chris McClenney
  • The Move ~Reva Devito
  • One ~Samuel
  • After the Storm ~Kali Uchis, Bootsy Collins, Tyler the Creator
  • What You Mean to Me ~Chris McClenney
  • Run ~Chris McClenney
  • Off-Road ~Pentagon
  • Do It For Fun ~Pentagon
  • Fallin ~Monsta X

I hope you enjoyed my different format for this month, and look forward to some epic posts in May!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

 

25 Questions Food Tag

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I was looking for something fun, simple, and food related and I stumbled across this food tag. I thought it’d be fun to give it a shot.

1. What’s your favorite breakfast?
I’m in love with breakfast! My fave would be either Chicken & Waffles or Shrimp & Grits.

2. How do you drink your coffee?
I don’t like coffee but if I go to Starbucks or something I’ll get a Caramel Frappe or some type of latte. Although, because of the recent unfair treatment of customers I won’t be going to Starbuck’s anytime soon.

3. What’s on your favorite sandwich?
There’s too many: Monte Cristo, Banh Mi, Philly Cheesesteak, French Dip… ok I’ll stop now. But in terms of more basic sandwiches I love an amazing grilled cheese sandwich.

4. Soup or Salad?
Soup. Although I love salads too.

5. What’s your favorite cookbook?
Martha Stewart Cakes, it has a lot of my go to cake recipes in it.

6. No more sweets or no more hearty foods?
I guess hearty foods, I love desserts with my entire being.

7. What’s your favorite Cuisine?
Can I be really broad and say Asian? I love Thai, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese foods so much I couldn’t just choose one country.

8. What’s your favorite food movie?
Ummm, I can’t really think of a food movie other than Ratatouille so…

9. What’s your most guilty pleasure?
Potato chips with ketchup and hot sauce.

10. What’s your greatest inspiration source?
Pinterest.

11. Cooking at home or going out for dinner?
Going out for dinner because I love trying new restaurants

12. High end or low profile?
Well, I have kind of expensive taste, however, I love those hole-in-the-wall places with bomb food. So, both!

13. What’s your favorite restaurant?
It’s a list: Uncle Julio’s, Thai Phooket, Martin’s Barbecue… and many others

14. I do my grocery shopping at:
I don’t really do the grocery shopping, but my parents shop at Kroger, Publix, Sprout’s, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods

15. The tastiest food I’ve ever eaten was:
This is too much pressure! But right now I’d have to say the shrimp & grits waffle from Waffle Works in Birmingham

16. Coffee with George Clooney or Heston Blumenthal?
Neither

17. What should not be missing in your kitchen?
Peanut butter.

18. What’s your favorite snack?
Greek yogurt or apple and peanut butter

19. What’s on your pizza?
It changes often but right now I’m into: cheese, red onions, Italian sausage, spinach, sometimes sundried tomatoes.

20. What food do you really dislike?
Honestly, there isn’t one that I dislike completely, some foods I only like it certain forms or prepared certain ways.

21. What’s your favorite food blog?
This one! No just kidding it’s probably Sally’s Baking Addiction (I mean, my blog’s good too though…)

22. What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Seaweed, frog legs, maybe other things I forgot.

23. What’s on your food bucket list?
Try Indian food, learn to make croissants, and eat sushi in Japan.

24. I couldn’t live without:
Kimchi? I put it on a lot of things. Another would be hot sauce: Green Pepper Cholula, Sriracha, Tabasco, Mango Chili, I love them all.

25. If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Sushi, hands down.

Let me know some of your answers below!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

Kpop Trends from Seoul Fashion Week

I’ve always been into trends and trend forecasting, so I thought it would be fun to do some trend forecasting with Kpop fashion because we all know Kpop is my entire life. I am by no means a professional forecaster but I took into account past MV outfits, Seoul style, and looks from runways shows at SFW. Here are a few trends I think/hope will emerge.

Complex Belts

 

Complex belts
Seoul Street Style [Vogue.com]

Harnesses and braces have recently emerged as a trend in certain concepts like NCT Dream’s Go and Monsta X’s Dramarama. Belts will naturally follow in complex utility styles like the ones seen in street style.

Wide Leg Pants 

 

Wide leg pants
Seoul Street Style [Vogue.com]

Typically, idols tend to wear skinny jeans, tight leather pants etc. while this is all well and good there needs to be a little variety. For this F/W season in Seoul wide leg pants were huge and I hope it extends to Kpop fashion. Idol’s like BTS’ V wear these in casual situations often and JBJ’s Hyunbin has sported them for live stages already.

Statement Jackets

 

99%IS Jacket
99%IS [Vogue.com]

Jackets are a staple in music videos and live stages. But instead of basic bombers, denim, and leather jackets I expect that we’ll be seeing more statement jackets. Either with cool pieces of hardware, bold colors, or avant garde silhouettes. I think these pieces will make a huge impact in many concepts.

 

I’m always excited for the future of fashion in general and the intersection of fashion and music so I really hope some of my predictions hold true and that I see these pieces in the MVs of the future.

Stay fly,

~Akilah

What Went Down March + Mixtape

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Hi! I’m late but I’m here. I can’t believe that we’re now in the second quarter of 2018. Let’s see what happened in March!

Food

 

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We ate at Puckett’s and I had some bomb chicken and waffles. I think that’s the only noteworthy food experience.

 

Fashion

Seoul Fashion Week happened and there’ll be a post about that soon.

 

Books

The Hobbit | J.R.R. Tolkien

Speak | Laurie Halse Anderson

Out of the Silent Planet | C.S. Lewis

Speak was my favorite, I loved the story and the emphasis on art. Out of the Silent Planet is also amazing, it’s a cool sci-fi read.

 

Life

We finished Hwarang!!!! It was amazing: I laughed, cried, and screamed. I’m so sad it’s over but so satisfied.

I had the monumental opportunity to write and direct the Easter play for our church so March was filled with rehearsals.

Hmmm, I think that’s all the noteworthy happenings.

 

Kpop

Whoaaaaa! There were so many spectacular comebacks this month. Monsta X’s Jealousy, NCT 127’s Touch,  and Samuel’s One were so cool. I’m crushed by BigBang’s Flower Road and SHINee’s From Now On. And j-hope’s mixtape saved 2018.

 

March Mixtape

  • La Fete Est Fini | Orelsan
  • Pulling Me Under | Kevin Garrett
  • That’s What Love Can Do | Vivian Green
  • If You Fall | Ray Dalton
  • Walls | Jaylon Ashaun
  • One & Only You | Got7
  • Miss You | EXO-CBX
  • Encore | Cheryl Lynn
  • Best Love | Yuna
  • Warriors | Koryn Hawthorne
  • Africa | Kyle Bielfield
  • Daydream | j-hope
  • Ce qui me plait | Lisandro Cuxi
  • Touch | NCT 127
  • The Night Song | Ravyn Lenae
  • Call Me Baby | Jung Min, Daeho
  • Think Hole | B.A.P
  • Overdose | EXO
  • Lost | BTS
  • Dance With Me (Venus) | VAV
  • Flower Road | BigBang
  • Lovin You Mo | EXO
  • Nous | Lisandro Cuxi
  • A Rose is Still a Rose | Aretha Franklin
  • Pleasure Principal | Janet Jackson
  • Growl | Daeho

 

I know this wrap-up was a bit more abrupt/strangely formatted but it’s a wonder it even got out so I hope you still enjoyed it!

Stay fly,

~Akilah

RTW Fall ’18 Wishlist

I know I’m late, but I’ve finally caught up (ish) on the Fall 2018 Ready to Wear coverage. It was a solid season: of the brands I check for first I was a bit disappointed with Yohji Yamamoto and Chanel, but I was in love with Versace and Off-White.

As I perused the collections I was struck by how many of the pieces were wearable and how many I wanted to own. Here are five pieces that are on my “wishlist” from this season.

Undercover Sweatshirt

Undercover Sweatshirt
via Vogue.com

Grey sweatshirts will always hold a special place in my heart and the addition of the graphic is amazing. I love the “Total Youth” message and the silhouette is super breezy.

Marine Serre Raincoat

Marine Serre raincoat
via Vogue.com

Red is a trendy color that seems to be sticking around. I don’t own many red pieces and most of them ironically are coats. I love loud raincoats and the sheerness of this one is really intriguing.

Sacai Top

Sacai top
via Vogue.com

The structure contrasted with the slouch of this top is beautiful. The sheer sleeves are a lovely detail and the whole vibe of this piece is just amazing. I’d wear this in a heartbeat with a black pencil skirt or light-wash denim.

Tosia Set

Tosia set
via Vogue.com

As a firm believer in nightwear for daytime, I was in love with Tosia’s collection this year. This blue pajama-like set is a dream: the tailoring, subtle print, and tie detail make for a stunning look. I would wear this so often it’s not funny.

Tabula Rasa Dress

Tabula Rasa dress
via Vogue.com

Aside from Off-White, Tabula Rasa was my favorite collection this season. The soft angelic knitwear is completely up my alley. Although I want most of the pieces in this collection I choose this dress because the silhouette is so flattering, and those who know me can attest that I have a thing for the color blush. I also adore the styling of this with the sandals and socks in luxe tones.

What did you think of my wishlist? Did you like this season’s looks?

Stay fly,

~Akilah

Givenchy: Legacy

 

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Hubert de Givenchy Feb 21, 1927 – Mar 11, 2018

 

91 years

you lived that long but did you realize while on earth

your legacy would live on?

“What is a legacy?

It’s sowing seeds in a garden

you never get to see.”

With your hands you sculpted beauty

Jackie O and Audrey

Tell me

Did you know that first day

When you stepped into the atelier

That the world would remember the way

You gave form

to elegance

You left

Earth

Some call it a mistake

You left

Earth

but you left beauty in your wake.

 

Stay fly,

~Akilah

 

Let’s Talk About Black Panther

Because the king don’t cry, king don’t die
King don’t lie, king give heart, king get by, king don’t fall
Kingdom come, when I come, you know why
King, king, king, king
I am T’Challa! ~Black Panther // Kendrick Lamar

Black Panther

I saw Black Panther on opening night and it was amazing! Hands-down the best Marvel movie ever created: it was exciting, humorous, and inspiring. Not only do I want every single outfit worn in this movie but I lowkey wish I could move to Wakanda. Also, don’t be surprised if my future kids are named after characters in this movie.

I’ve seen the movie twice now and my thoughts have settled enough that I am prepared to analyze and share my thoughts.

Ok, you should’ve seen the movie by now, but I’m obligated to give you a warning: this contains spoilers.

Political Commentary

During the duration of the movie I got chills realizing just how much some of the narrative mirrored our world today. I don’t quite remember whose line it was, but one of the characters stated that if Wakanda opened it’s borders then people would come, bringing their problems with them and pollute the nation. This mirrors some people’s attitudes to immigration in the United States: we shouldn’t let them in because they’ll “pollute our society”. It’s a fear tactic, the Wakandans feared corruption by the world just as some Americans fear the loss of jobs, their way of life, and their safety.

Even in Erik Killmonger’s character we find a relatable element. Without a doubt Killmonger is evil, I mean he’s a murderer, however his philosophies themselves aren’t evil and that’s what makes him an amazing villain. Killmonger is angry that Wakanda chooses to stand by as black people around the world are being oppressed while they have the ability to help. This frustration is understandable but his solutions are wrong: arm the population with weapons and mercilessly kill the oppressor. As T’Challa said, Killmonger would have the oppressed become the oppressor. A lot of people in real life hold this philosophy: that oppressed people should give colonizers a taste of their own medicine, but while it is a very visceral response and a natural one: it won’t solve anything. We should treat people as we would want to be treated rather than how they treat us.

Fashion

I think everyone can agree that the fashion was top-notch. Even those who never notice the costume design in a film had at least one thing they were struck by fashion-wise in this movie. For me, I was struck by everything. My favorite looks were Shuri’s white dress with the tulle ruffle on the back, Nakia’s green jumpsuit, and T’Challa’s Kente cloth edged robe.

I also loved the symbolism that was laced through the looks. For instance, I noticed Shuri’s clothes were a lot more modern-Western influenced than the other characters, I think this is because she’s the youngest and represents technological innovation and the integration of culture. There was also a huge contrast between T’Challa’s and Killmonger’s kingly garb. T’Challa always wore his robe closed while Killmonger wore it open to expose his chest. I think is portraying Killmonger’s eagerness to show his power and strength but also his tendency not care about acceptability and tradition. T’Challa is just as strong as (if not stronger) than Killmonger but more reserved, tactical, and discreet.

I watched a commentary where the director Ryan Coogler was discussing the symbolism in the casino scene. T’Challa is wearing black, Nakia green, and Okoye red, these are the colors of the Pan-African flag. Also, when in everyone’s favorite scene Okoye flings off her wig to expose her shaven head, she’s symbolizing the casting-off of narrow European standards of beauty and embracing her natural glory. I really feel that.

Female Empowerment

Finally, we come to my one of my favorite themes in this film: female empowerment and specifically black girl magic. The Dora Milaje were spectacular, the concept of an all female warrior/body-guard squad really peaked my interest but it was even better in execution. What I truly loved throughout this movie was that women were allowed to be fierce and vulnerable, strong and sensitive, to show the multi-faceted nature of femininity. Sometimes with modern feminism we end up exalting women at the expense of men, but in this film everyone was allowed to be who they truly are. Having female body guards didn’t diminish T’Challa’s masculinity or make him seem weak and incapable, rather it made him seem stronger and more secure.

Ryan Coogler has been continually discussing the concept of “femininity as a weapon”, which I can’t get enough of. When Okoye throws her wig and Nakia fights with her high heel in the casino they’re using femininity as a weapon. The fact that all of the Dora Milaje fight in dresses even further portrays femininity as a weapon. One of my favorite scenes is when W’Kabi asks Okoye if she would really kill him, her lover, she responds without hesitation, “For Wakanda? Without question”. This comment exemplifies Okoye’s loyalty to her country, her heritage, and herself first and foremost. It’s so powerful to see them standing there: Okoye with her spear pointed at W’Kabi who’s kneeling before her. By her courageous display of loyalty she eventually brings him back to his senses.

Showing black women as beautiful, kind, smart, and strong is one of the best things that Black Panther does. Just the fact that Shuri, a 16-year-old black girl is the smartest character in the Marvel Universe is monumental, especially for me: a 16-year-old black girl. I’ve heard people say that this movie changed their perceptions of black women: it caused them to realize that black women are truly beautiful. Any movie that can change people’s perceptions is a legendary one indeed.

I could go on and on about this film so there may be a part two in the future. But for now, tell me what you thought of Black Panther, did you enjoy it? What did you gather from the film?

Stay fly, Wakanda Forever!

~Akilah