We are Black Panther. We are One.

I am a proud black woman, and today, I could not be prouder. I walked into the cinema wrapped in my Masai blanket to watch the long-awaited Black Panther movie. I watched with joyful recognition, the plains and sunsets of an African savannah and as well as the images of a country we will never know — untouched by the messages of its own inferiority and the realities of exploitation. Wakanda, a land where various tribes live in harmony, respecting the dissent of challenge to leadership, embracing the peaks of technological advancement and upholding its women to their fullest potential. It was glorious and I was inspired. The inspiration was not just in the film itself. It was in the moments in the cinema that connected us viewers in our shared pain of what was. Like that moment when a character says, “Bury me in the ocean with my ancestors who jumped from ships because they knew death was better than bondage”. I felt in that space our hearts beat almost as one sighing the release of the pain of this wicked history. But still we rise and never was it more apparent than watching the parades of shades — tens of people, dressed in their African best, with a song in their heart to know that a new day is near. A day when we can make peace with the pains of the past, a day when we can look in the face of modern day colonizers — those who aim to keep us in our place — and say #timesup!

“[We] will no longer watch from the shadows. We cannot. We must not. We will work to be an example of how we as brothers and sisters on this earth should treat each other. Now more than ever the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another as if we were one single tribe.”

We are one tribe. Today, more than ever, I feel strongly the union and oneness of Ubuntu as we breathe and dream as one. We are #blackpanther. We are #One