Friday, March 16, 2018

Black Panther: My Top 12 Reacts

None of these are in a particular order, but they all describe moments that had me catching my breath, wanting to cry, or screaming! This movie is just so good- if you haven't seen it and you are reading this... GO SEE IT!

1. When Okoye says, "We are home."

     Not so much to say except- THE FEELS! You could feel the pride and love the movie was trying to portray.

2. When T'challa's mom yells, "SHOW HIM WHO YOU ARE!"
     This. Was. Powerful. Yes yes, I get the lion king reference, BUT it really added to the movie.  T'challa didn't just remind Mbaku who he was, but WHOSE he was. It also made me think about the importance of not just standing strong in knowing who we are, but remembering who we are, and being able to remind ourselves in the midst of difficult circumstances. This scene reminded me of how I belong to Jesus and that it is important to decree that from time to time, and to remind others of that as well.

3. When Okoye complains about the wig...
     When Okoye says the wig is silly and shows her displeasure in wearing it: SO refreshing. I love seeing people wear their natural hair or however it makes them happy, and this scene of Okoye wanting to strip away the need to conform even if for an undercover moment filled my heart with a resounding YES!

4. When Okoye THROWS that wig across the room...

     The next best thing is when Okoye THROWS this wig across the room and uses it as a defense in her fight against white men with guns. THAT spoke to me on so many levels- outside of just being plain funny! It was cool to see something that has been used according to society as a way of deeming black women socially acceptable or "beautiful" as something that helped Okoye blind the enemy and get free of their clutches to help T'challa and Nakia catch Klaw (Klau?)

5. Shuri & T'challa testing the Black Panther Suits

    The playful brother and sister love between T'challa & Shuri is beautifully shown throughout the movie. One of my favorite parts is when they are testing the Black Panther suits and Shuri is video taping her brother getting bounced away by the suit and he tells her to delete the footage. SO funny and the scene drives home the type of relationship that they have.

6. Shuri and her colonizer comment...
     Enough said really....

7. Shuri fighting Killmonger...

     What I love about this is the fierceness that Shuri shows, and the fact that she didn't hesitate to do what she felt like needed to be done to help her brother and save Wakanda. Even though you can see that she is a little fearful, she does it anyway because it needs to be done.

8. Just EVERYTHING related to Shuri!

     I have to admit that Shuri was definitely one of my favorite characters in the entire movie... It was a breath of fresh air to see a young person of color in a role like this, and it was also really empowering to see a young woman in this kind of a role. Her sass and strength and smarts shine through, and actually she reminds me of a family member!

Image result for shuri gif

9. Killmonger's last words...

     Killmonger's last words really got me and made me cry. When T'challa says they might be able to save him, Killmonger basically says there is no point in living the rest of his life as a prisoner. Then he says:
"Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from ships because they knew that death was better than bondage"
There are not enough words to describe exactly what I felt the first time I watched this movie and how hard those words pierced my soul.

10. Nakia telling Okoye where her allegiance lies...

      When Okoye tells Nakia that she should be serving her country regardless of who is on the throne, and Nakia tells her instead that it is her duty to save her country... man.... I choked up on this one. I feel like this is such a powerful and bold statement. It made me think of activists that do what they can to sway for change, It made me think of my role as a follower of Jesus, It made me think about the pledge of allegiance, it made me think of what we consider to be important and how that is different for everyone, and it made me want to ask people what they think of when they think of personal allegiance. Blindly serving... is that wise?

11. Killmonger telling his father, "Everybody dies. It's just life around here."

don't cry don't cry don't cry....

Image result for michael b jordan black panther gif

12. Okoye and her husband facing off in battle...

     One of the things that irked me the most in the movie is Okoye's husband calling her "My love" and asking if she would really kill him.... DUDE- you just started a war within Wakanda, you didn't listen to her, shut her down in front of the council, and tried to have her killed during battle... THE NERVE! I think it also speaks to her strength that she was able to choose between her husband and Wakanda in that moment, and also not act on her own feelings even though she had clearly been feeling a lot since that moment her husband shut her down in front of the council.

Image result for Okoye and husband gif

I had so many favorite things, it was hard to narrow it down to just 12! What were your favorite moments in the movie? Any best reactions you have to share? Make sure to leave a comment down below!
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Friday, March 9, 2018

#WakandaForever | A Mixed Chicks Thoughts On "Black Panther"

A post shared by Moon kid 🌙⭐️ (@terutella) on

Black Panther was AMAZING, INSPIRING, and such a well done film!

There is so much I would like to write- I don't know if I can get it all into one blog post though so conversation in the comments is highly encouraged. I decided I will do a TOP 10 Favorites list from this movie, so look for that post coming soon; as well as hubby and I might do a podcast or a youtube video including our thoughts on the movie, and if we do I will also post that in the blog for your viewing or listening pleasure.

When I saw the previews for this movie I thought it looked exciting to go see. I had vaguely heard about the comics, but had never read them (much to the chagrin of my husband), so what really caught my eye was the majority black cast and the fact that a black superhero was getting  a little spotlight in this era of marvel movie madness. We decided we had to see it when it came out.

After that, hype around the movie began to build- all over the country and beyond! I started seeing articles floating around on facebook about the comics and the movie, about the nod to feminism and black excellence, and about how empowering and life giving people expected this movie to be. At first I was a little skeptical of all of the "outside implications" since this movie was based on a comic, yet my own heart echoed many of the things I heard people putting voice to in anticipation of the movie. I realized that what people hoped for in the movie, specifically the black folks and people of color around me, what was hoped for was something that was needed and it was painfully and gainfully realized that what was hoped for was largely missing from media and our context tod

Now before I get into the movie itself....

My viewing experience was impacted by context, so let me put that together for you. I went to go see Black Panther with my parents, my brother, and my husband on the Thursday night opening.  The morning of, I called the movie theater to make sure they wouldn't be sold out. My brother was really worried that they might be sold out because we had been reading online about people all over the US pre-ordering tickets to Black Panther MONTHS in advance. MONTHS. We had a back up theater (well, 3) in mind just in case, and had picked a back up day in case both were sold out. Before I made the call, there was a flicker of a thought in the back of my mind that they probably wouldn't be sold out at at least 2 or 3 theaters because this is Vermont and Vermont is small. My conversation with the movie theater employee went something like this (Theater Name Changed):

Cheerful Movie Theater Employee: "Hello! Thank you for calling Movie Magic Screen Time. How can I help you?

Me: "Hi! I was just wondering if you guys are all sold out for Black Panther tonight. Do you have tickets left?"

*Strange Pause*

Hesitant but still Cheerful Movie Theater Employee: "Yes.... we have tickets left!"

Me: "Ok, awesome! do you think we will be able to get them when we arrive, or should I order them ahead of time? we just want to make sure we get to see it tonight."

Cheerful Movie Theater Employee: *Laughs*

Me: *Confused*

Cheerful Movie Theater Employee, with incredulous tone: "Yeeeeaaaah, you can pick up tickets when you get here. I don't imagine any of the showings for this movie will be sold out. Of course you can always secure your tickets online, but tonight's showing won't be full."

Me: "ok.... Thank you for your time."

The end of that brief conversation made me wonder.... What will seeing this movie in a room full of white people be like? Now, If you are in the non-woke to low-level-woke-ness brackets of the woken-ness spectrum, you probably aren't going to get what I mean by that or why I had to ask that question in the first place... I'll try to use a different 1st hand experience to explain:

When my best friend wanted to see Django, we went to see it with her dad and brother. I'm Black/Mixed but light. My friend is Black/Mixed but dark. Her brother and dad are also black. We were the only black people in that PACKED movie theater. There was one part in the movie where Leonardo Di-Caprio's character is egging on the black men wrestling. For some reason, most of the theater laughed at that part... except for the section of our row that was people of color. It felt wrong and very foreign to me. Though the movie did have some funny and sarcastic parts, this was not one of them. It felt as if we were not in the room at all.... hidden in the darkness in the theater, surrounded by a rippling sea of laughing whiteness.

There were several other moments like this in that movie, where the white folks in the room laughed, and the people of color did not... It unsettled me. In the car on the way back I asked my friend and her family what they thought, or if I was just being ridiculous- but no, they all noticed it too. That was the very first experience I had ever had like that at the movies... and it has stuck with me. So I was curious about whether my viewing experience would be affected in a similar way when we would see Black Panther.


I was also a little annoyed with the response of the movie theater employee... Not because of them, but because it felt like I shouldn't expect this movie to be sold out- like it was utterly ridiculous to think that this movie could possibly be sold out.
"But, why?" I wondered to myself.
"After all, the movie has been growing in momentum, and people are excited to see..."
I had to stop there and remind myself that people of color, especially Black & African people, were excited to see the movie. I hadn't actually heard too much about it from people in my circle who are white. It dawned on me that unlike in Philadelphia, the room would most likely not be a heavily mixed group of people because Vermont is generally not as diverse.

With that swirling around in my head, I finally got ready to go, dressing up a little for the occasion. My Mom went all out, wearing her African print dress and even decorating her face like Shuri (Black Panther's little sister).


When we arrived to the movie theater, the lobby was packed, so I thought for sure our showing would be too. When we found our seats however, it was full, but not packed, and not sold out. I looked around the room and noticed that kinda clustered around us were a few other black people and others of color, but the room was not very diverse. I was a little disappointed that the movie wasn't sold out, but I was still too excited about the movie to pay it much attention at the time. What I did notice was that hardly anyone was in cosplay, other than my mom and some dude that arrived dressed up in a full on LOKI costume, staff, helmet, cape, EVERYTHING.

My Thoughts On The Movie:

As we watched the movie, I went through such a range of emotions! I was fully immersed in the experience. There was one area where a group of white college age male students laughed at something Klaw said while the rest of the movie theater was silent. (dejavu circa Django). But for the most part, I found myself enjoying the movie and enjoying the freedom I felt during this movie, and the freedom of laughter and joy I heard from the people of color around me also viewing the film.

I found myself wanting to cry in random parts, not because they were sad, but because the representation was so beautiful and so STRONG!

I wanted to cry when this happened:

Because it was so beautiful, and joyful, and you could feel the pride and excitement.

And when this happened:

I wanted to cry because it felt so freeing and I felt Okoye strength.

Since seeing the movie, I still carry the excitement I felt while watching it with me. It was so empowering and freeing to see strong and beautiful women of color in a role that wasn't portraying the poor to educated theme or based on bad relationships or portraying slaves. It was exciting to see Black Panther understand how Killmongers position was effected by his early life, and to see him ultimately extend Wakanda's technology due to that and Nakia's prompting earlier in the film.
It was exciting to see black people from all over the world come together to play parts in this movie depicting a "hidden Africa", a wealthy, healthy, advanced, royal, country. It was inspiring to see Nakia claim black people around the world as Wakandans brothers and sisters- even before Wakanda decided to reach out. It was inspiring to get a glimpse at what a futuristic non-colonized country could be or become...

It was inspiring to have a cast of people portraying the people of Wakanda in so many different positive lights- even as a people with flaws, they learned from those flaws and kept pursuing greatness. That seems especially important during a time when we are still fighting for people to see that #BlackLivesMatter.

With all of that said, I'm going to see Black Panther again tonight!

What were your thoughts on Black Panther? Have you seen it yet? If you were a comic book fan and read the story first, what were your thoughts on the film? Leave a comment below, and look forward to more related posts coming soon!
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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Agape LOVEbox: Fuel For Your Marriage

Use code ISHALF18 by 3/31 for half off your first box! Click >>>HERE<<< to get fuel for your marriage!
Calling all married and soon to be married folk: Looking for a great way to engage with your spouse, spice up your marriage, and keep God at the center? 

I was asked to review this product, and I am SO glad that I took the opportunity to check this out! If you are recently engaged, newly wed, or have been married for years- you have got to give this product a try! Make sure you don't miss my coupon offer at the very end of this post, and be sure to comment and let me know if you have tried Agape Love Box yet!

What Is the "Agape LOVEbox"?
When I saw the Agape Love Box on facebook I was intrigued. "Fuel for your marriage", sounded like a cool slogan, and the product seemed faith based. I then checked out their website and found that they are indeed faith based, AND they are one of those subscription box services. The product is described online as:

"Agape LOVEbox is an online subscription box business. We believe in Gods design for marriages. It is our passion to minister to Christian married couples. Our boxes are designed to help bring fuel to your marriage by providing you with a monthly surprise box full of fun and exciting products to help bring glory & honor to God as well as bringing unity to your marriage."

A little more searching showed that they also do one time boxes for just married couples that are designed specifically for newlyweds.

At first glance it reminded me of the "date night" boxes I have seen floating around, but with married couples specifically in mind, and with a spiritual / bible based component. I also looked up a few of those different "date night" boxes and found that Agape LOVEbox is definitely one of the more cost effective options.
As I sat back and waited for my box to arrive, I got really excited because Freddie and I have never done something like this before! Embarking on new adventures with him is my favorite, and with how winter has been going, I was also excited that this adventure would come to our doorstep.

My Unboxing...

When the LOVEbox arrived I was ecstatic! I literally couldn't wait to open it, so in the morning while Hubby was still asleep I unboxed it and took photo's of everything for this post.
The box arrived so neatly packed and nested!
 The first thing I checked out was the card attached to the inside of the lid of the box. The box emphasized love (duh), but I also received the box for FEBRUARY (aka Valentines Day- The LOVE month) So I was extra curious as to what the card would say. It gave us a few things to write down, talk about, and pray for, and gave us a scripture to reflect on.

I love intentional questions, so I was really enjoying this so far.
I really liked how the note emphasized that Love isn't just for 1 day, but all the time! Similarly, as I continued to unbox, I realized that this was for more than just 1 date, this is enough to keep Freddie and I busy and engaging with each other throughout the month- enough to keep a busy couple engaging with one another until the next box arrives! This is really great since each months box is different!

Next was the card on top of the rest of the items in the box. It was a little card that listed what you should receive in the box and the purpose of each item.

Our book also came with 2 bookmarks so we can keep our place!
The Verse Of The Month!
I was really happy to see that there was an emphasis on scripture, unity, quality time, romance, and intimacy. One thing I have found with faith based products is that they can sometimes be really really cheesy. This didn't come across that way though, and actually seemed really doable, useful, and inspiring.

Next, I pulled everything out of the box- I was too excited and could not wait to use the items.

Items from February's Agape LOVEbox
Feedback From My Husband:

Freddie was pretty curious about the LOVEbox. At first, He didn't seem to sure about it, but once he sat down and looked at all the items and checked it out, he actually got excited to do the activities too! While he did say he thought the scripture of the month was kind of cheesy, he thought it was appropriate for it being the February box. He was excited about the book marks and curious about the Lovers Lotto Scratch Off Ticket. I had him scratch off the ticket, which led to a lot of laughter and blushing- So I deemed that totally worth it!

I asked Freddie if this is something that he would consider doing monthly, and he was into it. I was surprised by how much we actually liked the box, and we both liked how it helps you to engage with one another.

My Overall Rating

I would definitely rate this a 5 outta 5! Everything about the Agape LOVEbox was great, and the box as a unit went above my expectations. I would encourage every couple to try this at least once- I mean its only $29.95 a month, and with my special code, you will get half off your first box! And you can unsubscribe anytime! Use the code below, and make sure you leave a comment and let us know what you thought of Agape LOVEbox, or if there is anything else you want me to review.


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Monday, February 5, 2018

My Top 10 Super Bowl Commercial Reacts!

I thought it would be fun to share some of my thoughts on the Super Bowl Commercials below- let me know what your thoughts were in the comments, and of course connect with me on Twitter @nrrdladydiva:

Thoughts on #SuperBowlCommercials:

1. That Ram commercial with MLK’s words really disturbed my soul. It took me a while to put my finger on why. Still processing. Not happy about it.

2. Was that #deadspace actually a commercial bought on behalf of the #BlackHistoryMonth #BlackOut??? It happened twice!

3. WHAT is “Dilly Dilly”????? 

4. Who was in that Bud Light Night costume?

5. Yaaaaaaassssss DJ NANNA!!!! 

6. I don’t know what was happening in all of those weird Eli Manning (?) commercials, but they were funny.

7. I liked the T-Mobile baby commercial. Nice way to promote a somewhat social justice message without being crappy (like ram).... Who doesn’t love babies??? Also a nice way to encourage baby-fever and post Super Bowl baby-making... did T-Mobile sponsor any contraceptives?

8.”I’m 85 & I want to go home”.... still rolling from that DJ Nanna Commercial!

9. That fire and ice commercial was BOMB! I saw it on Missy Elliot’s page BEFORE the Super Bowl and it made me look forward to seeing it again.... may or may not have watched it a few times today as well!

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