Chadwick Boseman (in Tribute)

I wanted to wait for a word from the man who directed the King before posting anything here. Well, Ryan Coogler has said a word, and it is expectedly and exceptionally moving.

“I haven’t grieved a loss this acute before. I spent the last year preparing, imagining and writing words for him to say, that we weren’t destined to see. It leaves me broken knowing that I won’t be able to watch another close-up of him in the monitor again or walk up to him and ask for another take.

It hurts more to know that we can’t have another conversation, or facetime, or text message exchange. He would send vegetarian recipes and eating regimens for my family and me to follow during the pandemic.  He would check in on me and my loved ones, even as he dealt with the scourge of cancer.”

I have lost family to cancer, in childhood and most recently this year. I have felt and seen the toll that it takes on the individual and on the family. It is remarkable to me that Chadwick was able to  square up against this disease, and convincingly live and work and do red carpets and interviews and visit children battling cancer and send Ryan Coogler and his family recipes to help them. He’s been living with this since 2016 (shortly after first putting on the Black Panther suit for Civil War) while giving us T’Challa in Black Panther and Infinity War and Endgame, and performances in other films like Da 5 Bloods which I’ve written about on here before (singling out his performance) and Message from the King, a taut action flick elevated by his presence, which I watched this past weekend. A remarkable man and an actor who has left an impressive body of work in a short time (playing remarkable figures like Jackie Robinson, James Brown, Thurgood Marshall, and a super hero for Black people everywhere), especially when we consider the circumstances under which many of these iconic performances were created.


Can’t wait…but I have to

The Can’t Wait Wednesday meme is an opportunity to talk about a book you can’t wait to read but (drats!) will have to…you know, until you get it…or finish reading the books you’re actively reading…or find time to read…sigh…but yeah, that book. Also linking this post to WWW Wednesday.

red.pngFor me right now, that book is America-based, Jamaican writer Marlon James’ Black Leopard, Red Wolf. I did a new book alert about it over on my other blog, so you can go there for more details about it but suffice it to say that it’s fantasy, which is a genre I love; it is genre underpinned by African mythology, which the world needs more of;  and it’s by an award winning, universally acclaimed author who four novels in hasn’t told the same story twice (granted I’ve only read two of those stories, the slavery era narrative The Book of Night Women and the late 70s to 90s crime epic A Brief History of Seven Killings) – and in both cases he writes long and it can feel convoluted and confusing (and I personally know people who’ve tapped out) but it’s always interesting and always unlike anything I’ve read before. So, I’m really looking forward to reading this one, like if I got it right now, I’d likely drop everything else I’m currently reading – sorry, Inferno, Fire and Fury, Evolution, Beneath Lion’s Wings, even you The Fire Next Time and Sonny’s Blue, Wartime at Woolworths and the others, but I’m really hyped for this one … okay, I wouldn’t drop them, but I might put them down. Congrats to Marlon for his film rights already being optioned by Michael Bae Jordan (notable roles have included Wallace from The Wire, Oscar Grant from Fruitvale Station, Adonis from Creed, and, oh yeah, Killmonger from Black Panther); and shout out to April Sinclair who also recently had film production news (with Octavia Spencer and Gabrielle Union attached) come out re a book I read and loved years ago Coffee Will Make You Back. That’s the dream, right there.

Also on my, it’s taking me too damn long to get to them radar are books like Come Let Us Sing Anyway by Leone Ross, An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, Barraccoon by Zora Neale Hurston, N. K. Jemison’s The Fifth Season (also sequels The Obelisk Gate and The Stone Sky), and so much more, including quite recently, Milkman by Anna Burns thanks to blogger Claire ‘Word by Word’. So many books, so little…books. In time. In time.

You know I had to do a Black Panther post, right?

I don’t have a Black Panther review. I don’t know if I will. But I wanted to share some of the more interesting video clips I’ve come across on youtube. In the first one the director breaks down one of the key action scenes, interesting to budding filmmakers and even writers, I think; the second is pure fangirl/boy geekdom as it uncovers every bit of hidden meaning; and the third focuses on what makes it good writing. Cool (spoiler heavy) clips. Also, I LOVE THIS (moving, meaningful, and masterfully made) MOVIE! Go see it; see I am Not Your Negro too, if you get a chance – that’s the other movie (one of last year’s Oscar nominated documentaries) I’ve seen recently and I highly recommend it.

p.s. you should check out Black Panther director Ryan Coogler’s earlier movies as well – Black Panther makes him three for three after Fruitvale Station and Creed.