Wakanda Forever and a Hope for Embracing Culture

With the passing of Chadwick Boseman on Friday, I was thinking about how much I loved the Black Panther movie and I wanted to share some thoughts.

Black Panther is my absolute favorite, and in my opinion, the best, Marvel movie that has come out thus far.

There are so many reasons why it’s such a great film and deserved the recognition it received.

The majority black cast. How the story connected to the anti-black problems in the world. It’s depiction of smart and strong black women. Plus, to my writing pleasure, the crafting of the story itself.

But one of my most favorite things is the incorporation of African culture in the film.

It’s an amazing depiction of how rich, detailed and colorful African culture is that brings an added element to the film and Black Panther’s character that’s not shown in other Marvel movies.

I love how even though Wakanda is a technologically advanced city, it still has ties to the African culture through it’s traditions, dress and language.

It makes me wish that the United States honored all the cultures that we have a little more and that we don’t have to wait for the capitalist/consumerism culture we live in to tell us when certain ethnic styles are “in”.

Like, when will it not be jarring for people of color to embrace their cultural traditions in the way they dress, no matter what position they hold in their career?

Because let’s face it, we are not all there yet. Black, Latin, Asian, etc. cultures still get scrutinized in mainstream media. Why can it just be normal and not a statement?

Anyway, I just loved how Black Panther embraced it all and didn’t water down the culture aspect to appease white viewers . (We all know that’s the demographic that gets considered and is worried about the most when a film or show gets created that doesn’t feature a white person as a main character.)

What did you like about Black Panther? Are you still excited to see Black Panther 2?


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Diving into Tarot Reading

About a month ago, my sister and I started learning how to read tarot cards!

We were discussing it here and there and I remember listing to a podcast about daily tarot reading for self-improvement. (The podcast is called By the Book. The hosts read a self-help book and live it for two weeks, then come back and talk about their experiences.)

Then we decided to make the plunge and buy a tarot deck.

My sister bought one for me and I bought one for her. There’s a superstition that you shouldn’t buy your own first tarot deck, but there are other claims that you should. We just decided to gift each other one.

It’s been really interesting getting to know tarot. I think common perception of it is that it only tells you about your future. But after reading meanings of cards and doing a few of my own spreads, tarot is more like bringing out self awareness, a new way at thinking about a situation, or something to be aware of or open to as you go along your day/project/adventure.

At times, it can be eerily accurate, showing me what’s exactly on my mind. Sometimes it feels a little harder understanding what it’s telling me, but that will come with time of learning the meanings of each card and looking at the big picture of the spread.

I’ve learned to not ever expect the cards to tell me what to do about something. In the end, it will all come down to my choice. But they can serve as a form of encouragement or warning.

In the podcast episode I listened to about tarot reading as self improvement, they used it as something to meditate on or reflect on throughout the day. After pulling a card, you can journal on what the meaning means to you for that day.

I like to take that approach to my tarot reading, and to do it on a new moon to see how I should approach the next month.

It’s also fun to do love spreads and career spreads, just to see what you could learn about yourself.

Another fun thing about tarot is the decks is you can buy a traditional deck if you like, but there are more creative ones out there.

My sister gave me the Star Spinner Tarot deck. It has a very whimsical, fairy tale vibe to it, which I love. The cup suit tells the story of The Little Mermaid! Also, it comes with 4 lovers cards, and you pick the one that resonates with you to use in the deck.

Hooray for gay representation! I picked the one on the far left.

The one I bought for my sister is the Modern Witch Tarot deck. This one is so cool. The imagery on each card looks like more traditional decks, but it depicts all women.

Badass!! The Magician, Emperor, Hierophant and Chariot cards usually depict men.

These decks also come with their own guidebook, but I also like to go on Biddytarot.com to look up their deeper meanings.

Has anyone else started an unconventional hobby this summer? Or perhaps you’re experienced at tarot?! What has reading the cards brought you?

Journal Excerpt: July 26, 2020

(Edited)

I want to take the rest of quarantine (or the year, whichever ends first) to truly focus on myself and being comfortable with where I’m at, but also working on self development. I want to get back to focusing on my goals and being aware of when I’m feeling confident (and bask in it) and when I don’t (so I can bring it out). I want to appreciate everything I’ve done for myself and how I’ve grown. I want to be more excited about what’s to come in life, rather than nervous or disappointed that I’m not at a certain place yet. I already know that I have a lot to be grateful for and that’s more than enough to realize I am amazing and I should be confident and I deserve compassion and love from myself.

Baking in Quarantine

I was bitten by the baking bug during quarantine and I’ve made a few things to satisfy some cravings I’ve had over the lock down. Here’s what I’ve made (other dishes included):

Dinner Party!

One weekend I had an urge to cook a 3 course meal… from scratch! And I wanted to make it sort of like a dinner party for the four of us.

This is the invitation I made and sent out:

Sadly, at that time, peaches weren’t in season, so we settled on an apple cobbler. But not even settling because this apple cobbler was BOMB!

To start us off, I made a bean dip from a recipe I found on Pinterest. It was cheesy, bean-y goodness.

And for the main course: homemade margarita pizza!!! It was made with a no-yeast dough (ya girl doesn’t have time for rising yeast) and the marinara sauce was made from scratch. Ugh it was so good. I ended up making it again later that week, since there were enough ingredients left over.

My sister also made us a cucumber vodka cocktail that was perfect for the first warmth of summer we were getting. (Sadly, no picture.)

Breakfast

One morning, my sister and I were craving French toast. So I whipped up these bad boys:

No joke, we were full for the rest of the day. We could’ve skipped dinner later that night but we felt like we had to have something healthy to balance it out.

Banana Bread… CHEESECAKE

You read that right! I made a cheesecake that used banana bread as the crust. This was also my first time ever making cheesecake. If I were to make it again, I would do some things differently, but I’d 100% keep the nut and caramel topping.

That little banana was how I felt eating it.

ME WANT COOKIES!!

Every summer I get a craving for s’mores. I like to find a creative way to combine the graham cracker, chocolate and marshmallows rather than make a traditional s’more. This year it was cookies!

I wanted the cookies BIG with LOTS of chocolate chips. I like to think I succeeded.

Peach Come Back

Don’t worry, the peaches had their day! Finally we are now in peach season and I was able to make… not a cobbler this time, but a PIE!! I completely forgot about a pie recipe book my cousin gave me for Christmas until I was staring randomly at my bookshelf and saw it. This recipe is from Sister Pie, a bakery in Michigan and they had a Ginger Peach Biscuit Pie. It. Was. Perfect.

Got nice and cozy with vanilla ice cream.

So that’s it for now! I have a few things I want to make still and I definitely want to try another pie recipe from that book. (I made the Vote Mustard Dressing for a salad I prepped for lunch and it was so good!)

Have you been making anything yummy during quarantine?


Meals on Wheels helps get healthy food to seniors who may be poor, living alone, and malnourished. During the pandemic, it also helps them get the food they need and check to make sure they’re okay, while social distancing. If you can, please donate here.