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- movies

Why my little black girls will NOT be watching Black Panther

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Since the age of 9, I’ve watched my older brother organize his Marvel Superhero’s cards. He’d carefully pull one hero from the clear protective pocket in his book and colorfully tell me their history. My questions were eager and his stories were captivating. I knew these characters. They were like family to me, and if I ever had the chance to meet them I would probably ask to be a part of their team.

Saturday mornings were awesome! That big bowl of soggy cereal was like our “movie popcorn” while we sang the X-Men theme song and watched our heroes come to life. Even then, big brother gave them even more meaning by pointing out their unique abilities and the intricate ways they are connected to each other!

Well…not much has changed. Each time a new Marvel movie is coming, we call each other and totally GEEK OUT!!

And it’s NO different for Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER.

Not only is he the newest highlighted character, but he’s a BLACK hero. He looks like us and the man is BAAAAAAD!!! The movie is FULL of strong images reflective of our culture and heritage. The type of things you want your black kids to look up and “MARVEL” at!

But I haven’t seen it. My kids haven’t seen it. And they won’t be seeing it anytime soon.

“Don’t tell me how good Black Panther is unless you are offering to watch my kids so I can go see it!” –ME

That was my recent FB post and I was mostly serious LOL. Many people's response was "Take them WITH you!"

NO. Trust me, I WANT them to absorb those great images. It has nothing to do with keeping them from seeing an amazing representation of us... It has to do with timing, maturity, vetting (I haven't checked it out yet), instincts & because I said so!

Here’s the thing… my girls haven’t seen ANY Marvel movies.

Those are simply NOT on their radar right now. Yes I want them to see the strength of Wonder Woman, the passion & intelligence of Iron Man, the raw fearlessness of Wolverine, the unmatched ability of Jean Grey/Phoenix and the overall integrity and sacrifice these characters make to help others. And I DEFINITELY want them to know that there are superheroes represented who look like them. I can't wait. One day they will. But for now it’s my job to protect them. I am their filter.

My girls are 5 and you can imagine how vivid their imaginations (and dreams) are, so at one point we had to cut out Mickey Mouse (the black & white version) because the ghost shadows were giving them nightmares. Even the demons in Moana (although they aren’t afraid of them while watching the movie) caused bad dreams. We cut them out, they stopped crying at bed time!

See I don’t want to keep explaining to them about people dying on a movie while kids are getting killed in schools. Violence and injustice are real, but no one in a cape is diving off the top of a building to save them. Now those reasons are pretty DEEP, but honestly it’s simply because I know my kids and my instincts tell me that NOW isn’t the right time for them. The great part is that their father says the same thing (and he’s a Marvel buff too).

So someday we’ll geek out together…but not right now.

Your version of “momming” may look different from mine, but here’s what should be the same…

Know YOUR kids, act on what your GUT is telling you, don’t be moved by people’s OPINIONS of how you protect your cubs.

Share this. It will help somebody feel a little bit better about going against the crowd.