Black Panther Cast
By Kanisha Parks

Black Panthercomes out next weekend and it’s already broken Fandango’s advance ticket sales record, becoming their #1 selling superhero of all time. Needless to say, we’ve been waiting for this movie long before its official trailer dropped back in October 2017 but now the anticipation is through the roof. My entire family and I have our tickets and outfits ready. #IssaCelebration. According to The Hollywood Reporter, “Reviews are in for Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther, and they are easily the best for a Marvel Studios project to date, with almost everyone left in awe not only of the movie’s ambition, but its success in achieving that ambition on the big screen. As of Tuesday morning, the film has a 100 percent score on Rotten Tomatoes.”

The fact that this movie is called Black Panther is reason enough to raise intrigue, but there are several other reasons it's a huge deal for the world, but specifically, the black community.

Chaswick Boseman & Michael B. Jordan
1. For Us, By Us. Directed by Ryan Coogler, (who also directed Creed and Fruitvale Station), Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa/Black Panther alongside fellow heavy-hitters Lupita Nyong'o, Michael B. Jordan, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, and Forest Whitaker. “Black Panther marks the first time that a major studio has greenlit a black superhero movie with an African-American director and a primarily black cast” (Variety).
Our representation in this film is present throughout: from the title to the director and actors. Even though it technically wasn’t made just for black people, we’re definitely laying claims and will likely constitute the greatest support for the film’s sales.
On whether or not a white director could’ve done Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman told Variety, “Well, is it possible for them to make it? It could be, yes. Would they have his perspective? Probably not. It wouldn’t be nuanced in the same way because they wouldn’t have the same conflict. They don’t have the African-American conflict that exists: Whether you’re conscious of it or not, you have an ancestry that is very hard to trace.”

Chadwick Boseman
2. It’s Been a Long Time Comin.’ We’ve had black roles in other superhero movies: Will Smith in “Suicide Squad,” and Halle Berry as “Catwoman,” and do we even have to talk about Michael B. Jordan in Fantastic Four? Other attempts at black superheroes as leads include Meteor Man, Blankman, Steel, Spawn, and most notably, Blade. In fact, Wesley Snipes even wanted to play Black Panther back in the early ‘90s but the vision was remarkably different—focused on cultural diversity instead of centered around black power—and never came to fruition. The time is now.
“We've been waiting to see ourselves onscreen, flying through the air and running across buildings and dodging laserblasts from bearded colonialists our entire lives. The future is Ryan Coogler, Chadwick Boseman, T'Challa, Black Panther. The future is here on February 16th” (Tre Johnson, Rolling Stone).
When asked why this is a good moment in history for this movie to be made, Chadwick Boseman responded, “Everybody is excited about the opportunity to do something that we should have already done. People are excited about seeing new stuff, but I think they're extra excited about seeing stuff they should have seen already” (CNET).

Dunai Gurira, Lupita Nyong'o & Florence Kasumba
3. Strong. Black. Women. Yes, Black Panther is the lead character, but he doesn’t shine alone: he is surrounded by strong black women, which is truly a positive for black women and girls alike.
Lupita Nyong’o, who plays Nakia, an undercover spy for the fictitious African nation Wakanda in the film, says, “The man’s power does not diminish because the woman is assuming hers (power). So, just because I have power it does not mean that I threaten the man’s position.” Always an advocate for women and girls asserting themselves, Nyong’o adds: “Little girls watching it will perhaps, they won’t be so afraid of their power. We have four women in this film that are powerful in very different ways and that is really exciting to have that be the thing that our young ones are watching” (Hindustan Times).
With the current culture of how women are being treated in America, it’s important for women, especially black women, to be appropriately represented in the media. I’m glad that we have the opportunity to see ourselves represented on-screen as we truly are: beautiful, bold, brave, powerful women.

And I’m even gladder that we finally have our iconic superhero movie, created from start to finish with us in mind. It’s about time.
Why are you excited to see Black Panther?
Kanisha is a Christian writer/author based in Augusta, GA. Other than, she has also written for BlackNaps.organd Devozine, and has authored a book of poetry entitled, "Love Letters from the Master." Kanisha can be contacted for business inquiries at [email protected] 
Monique via IG
By Michelby Coco Whitehead

Malcolm X was right; the Black woman in the most disrespected person in America. 2018 is coming off as the year to play aloof to the concerns of Black women. According to some, Ciara deserves backlash for asking women to value themselves more, Amara la Negra needs to assimilate and stop talking about colorism, and Monique needs to shut up and be happy Netflix offered her $500,000… I’m sorry, but where was everyone when Oprah said speaking your truth is the most powerful tool we all have? I’m just asking.

To support her opinion of why Netflix should offer her just as much as her male and white female counterparts, Monique said that she is “the most decorated comedian alive” when appearing on Sway’s Universe. I’m going to be honest with you and admit I had never heard the word ‘decorated’ used in that context, so I Googled it and here’s what I found:

Is Monique the most decorated? I really don’t know, and I don’t have time to research the décor. However, I do think she is a talented woman and half a million dollars is an insult for someone who has achieved what she’s achieved, no matter how long ago The Parkers aired, no matter if Queens of Comedy had other comediennes on the ticket, or if she deserved the Oscar for her performance in Precious. At this stage in my life, there are certain pay rates and situations I will not entertain because I am beyond what is being presented to me. Much like Monique’s alleged decorations, my credentials and self-esteem are valid reasons for me to not accept certain crap. What sensible human being doesn’t feel that way? 

Monique Ocar Win for the movie Precious
Will I be boycotting Netflix? Nope. But I do believe that Monique’s decision to stand up for herself based on what she knows about her accolades is valid, just like my friend Keisha feels about why certain employers choose to hire people who look like Kelly Bundy with the brains of Kelly’s nail polish.

We have got to stop turning a deaf ear to the message just because we don’t like the messenger. Intelligent people know how to think critically. They eat the meat and throw away the bones. (Maybe I shouldn’t have said meat; we criticize people for not going vegan these days as well! See how this whole being dismissive thing is getting out of control?) Monique might be crazy, but she’s not hallucinating. There is a problem with Black women getting what they truly deserve in Hollywood and life in general. Did we not see the superb success of Girls Trip last summer and how it later got snubbed at the Golden Globes? Okay, I thought so. Seek to understand if you wish to be understood. That is all. Now can we stop going off on Monique?

Do you support Monique?
A woman of the bayou pimping my pen because I'm scared of a day job. You can find me somewhere telling stories like Nas and Terry McMillan on April Fool's day. Writing is life so follow me on IG @cococurator 
Nafessa Williams, Cress Williams, China Anne McClain
By Mwabi Kaira

It's been a long time since black audiences have had an actual variety of shows led by an entirely black cast or lead black actors to choose from. It feels like a 90’s resurgence right now and boy, does it feel great! These two shows are off to a great start and they are MUST SEE TV.

Cress Williams is 'Black Lightning'

Black Lightning

Confession: I know nothing about Marvel and DC Comics and the superheroes in them so I wasn’t sure I would be lost watching CW’s Black Lightning which premiered Tuesday night. I know die-hard fans who know everything about these fictional subspecies of humans born with superhuman abilities known as metahumans. Black Lightning is a metahuman created in 1977 by DC Comics.

I settled in with 2.31 million other viewers and was thrown into the complex lives of the Pierce family. Jefferson Pierce (Cress Williams and yes he played our beloved Scooter on Living Single), is the principal of Garfield High and the brother who would do anything to invest and protect the kids in the neighborhood. His daughters Anissa (Nafessa Williams) and Jennifer (China Anne McClain - remember her from Daddy’s Little Girls?) are night and day in personalities. Anissa is woke and proudly protesting injustice while fiercely protecting her little sister and working as a teacher at Garfield. Jennifer is sick of being compared to her father and sister and doesn’t want to be the goody-two-shoes of the family so she makes questionable teenage choices with huge consequences.

The premiere episode of Black Lightning gave us protesting, driving while black blues, gang violence, sibling strife, and drama free co-parenting between Jefferson and his ex-wife Lynn (Christine Adams). Jefferson Pierce happily put the superpowers of Black Lightning to bed a decade ago as a promise to Lynn but must now resurrect him to save his girls and keep his neighborhood from harm. 

Husband and wife duo Salim Akil and Mara Brock Akil (The Game, Being Mary Jane) created Black Lightning and it airs on Tuesday nights at 9 PM on The CW.

Connie Britton, Angela Bassett & Peter Krause 


I only needed one name to tune into Fox’s 9-1-1 when it premiered on January 3rd; Angela Bassett. Not just any Angela Bassett, but Waiting to Exhale Bernadine Harris hair Angela Bassett. 9-1-1 explores the lives and careers of first responders; police officers, paramedics and firefighters, and 911 phone operators. These first responders put their lives on the line every day to save others and draws from real-life, high-pressure experiences. So far we have seen a young man thrown from a rollercoaster ride, a baby rescued from being flushed down a toilet, a yellow python wrapped around its owners neck, and how first responders deal with medical emergencies of their own.

Angela Bassett plays Athena Grant, LAPD patrol sergeant keeping her head above water as her marriage to Michael (Rockmond Dunbar) is ending. 9-1-1 focuses on the firehouse where Athena’s friend Henrietta “Hen” Wilson (Aisha Hinds, who you may remember doing a fantastic job as Harriet Tubman in Underground) is a firefighter/paramedic. Scenes between sister-girls on the job being supportive and loving are much welcomed in comparison to the “we can’t get along” narrative usually shown. Cocoa Brown playing Carla Price, caretaker to 911 operator Abby Clark’s Mom, is much needed light heartedness in storylines so heavy. Rounding out 9-1-1’s cast are Peter Krause, Oliver Stark, Kenneth Choi and Connie Britton.

9-1-1 is created by 'American Horror Story' creator Ryan Murphy and had a record 15 million viewers tune in to the premiere episode. On January 16 it was announced that 9-1-1 had already been picked up for season 2 after only 2 episodes.

9-1-1 airs on Wednesday nights at 9 PM on Fox.

Have you checked out either of these shows?
Mwabi Kaira is an African girl navigating her way in an American world.  She is of Zambian and Malawian heritage and moved to the USA in 1993.  Writing has been her passion since she could put a sentence together on the page. Mothering her sons is her pride and joy.  She has been an avid runner since 2013 and has run 10 half marathons and a full marathon.  Keep up with her at

Viva Viola! 
By Erickka Sy Savané

In case you missed last night's Golden Globes it was perhaps the most refreshing award shows in recent history because the focus wasn't on who wore this and that or what underrated show or movie beat out someone more deserving. This time, stars wore black in solidarity with the #metoo movement and now the #timesup movement, started by women in Hollywood to say 'the clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace.' And like actress/writer Lena Waithe added, times up on racism and homophobia too. There were many winners from last night's show, but here are 7 that are sure to make you feel all warm and fuzzy!
1) While 'This Is Us' Star Sterling K. Brown made history as the first black male to win a 'Best TV Drama Actor Award' it was his recount of unexpectedly delivering his baby at home, as told to Ryan Seacrest, that is the real winner!