Movie Review: Black Panther

Black Panther is definitely one of the most highly anticipated films of the year. People have been raving about this film on social media since the announcement of the movie’s release date last year. It premiered this week and so far it has been a smash at the box office. 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Black Panther’s story, I will a give little background on it. Black Panther follows the life of T’Challa/Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman) who is next to rule the African nation of Wakanda after his father’s death. Wakanda is one of the most technologically advanced nations, but is also one of the most isolated as the people of Wakanda believe that they are better protected when they hide in plain sight. The nation is made up of four different tribes who thrive off the use of Vibranium. 

Wakanda has been a safe haven for the people who live for centuries and has been viewed by the world as a third world country for years, but what the world doesn’t know is that it is one of the most thriving and technologically advanced nations in the world. Things change drastically when a mortal enemy pops up on their radar and kills King T’Chaka so as a result his son, T’Challa is next up for the throne. T’Challa’s biggest obstacle throughout the film is finding his own way as a man and a king. He spent most of his life preparing to fit the mold that his father created during his reign over Wakanda. T’Challa finds out a shocking secret about his father that conflicts with his own personal morals and ethics, which causes him to question what really makes a man a great king?

What makes this film so important is that despite the fact that it is about a fictional African culture and nation it stayed true to portraying black people who wholeheartedly embrace who they are while fighting for what is right. Many of the characters possessed great skills, intellectual abilities, displayed honor, selflessness and strength that wasn’t solely physical. Representation matters especially for black people. It means a lot to see people who look like ourselves portrayed as kings, queens, strong warriors and intelligent people who run an African nation.

I really enjoyed how the film showed that it wasn’t just T’Challa who ran and saved the nation, but it was a collective effort from mostly women who brought just as much to the table if not more. Okoye (Danai Gurira) is the fearless warrior that is apart of the Dora Milaje. She protects T’Challa and fight alongside him. Then, there is Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) she is T’Challa’s lover, but her life and purpose is deeper than that. Nakia is native to Wakanda, but spends her time outside of the nation as a spy, warrior and a peacemaker. However, she is devoted to saving her nation when it is threatened. Last but not least, there is Shuri (Letitia Wright), T’Challa’s teenage sister. Shuri is the brains behind Wakanda’s technological advancement. She created the weapons and gear used throughout the film.

The plot made me sort of made me play devil’s advocate once Michael B. Jordan’s character, Eric Killmonger was introduced. I was able to consider the perceptions of both T’Challa and Killmonger. I saw some good in the “bad” and I saw some bad in the “good.” There was a constant political and moral tug-o-war between what was best for Wakanda versus whether Wakanda should abandon their isolationist policies so that they can help the world with their resources. T’Challa’s only agenda was to protect his nation and preserve their livelihood while his cousin, Eric Killmonger who lived his whole life on the outside radically fought for the underdogs. Killmonger wanted to use Wakanda’s greatest resource, Vibranium to help people around the world and end struggling. 

I was really pleased to see such great black actors in this film like Angela Bassett who played the queen and T’Challa’s mother, Ramonda. Also, Forest Whitaker starred as Zuri an elder statesman and keeper of the heart-shaped herb. It was also really good to see rising stars like Daniel Kaluuya who played W’Kabi. Kaluuya is on the rise since the success of his lead role in the film Get Out. I remember seeing Kaluuya start out on the British series, Skins back in 2007 where he starred in the first two seasons and even wrote three episodes so it’s great to see how far he has come 11 years later. Letitia Wright has really be coming into her own over the past few years. I remember seeing her star in the British street drama, Top Boy, which aired back in 2011. Wright showed up on people’s radar at the end of 2017 when she starred in season four of Black Mirror.

It’s a known fact that black people lack representation in film so now to see black people  embracing African culture and donning African garb in a Marvel Superhero movie has me ecstatic. I can only imagine how children must feel when they see people who look like themselves portrayed as royal superheroes and warriors who fight to save their nation. It was also great to have black director and screenwriter, Ryan Coogler (Creed, Fruitvale Station) apart of making Black Panther the greatness that we saw over the weekend. 

One of the really dope things about the film is that the filmmakers had the characters speak Xhosa throughout the film. Xhosa is a Nguni Bantu language with click consonants and one of the official languages of South Africa and Zimbabwe. Xhosa is claimed by 8 million Africans as their mother tongue. I hated the “African” accents the characters spoke with in the film, but I just attributed that to the writers coming up with a fictitious accent for a fictional nation.

Honestly, this movie lived up to my expectations and then some. I will admit I was a little apprehensive because of Marvel’s tendency to produce mediocre superhero movies, but Black Panther did not disappoint at all especially with Ryan Coogler on board. This film has come to the world at such a pivotal time where black people are now being represented a little more in films.

Overall, I was very pleased with this film. The actors were great. The plot was great. I will probably see this movie like five more times within the next couple weeks. I would definitely recommend seeing this movie if you haven’t already.


Movie Review: The Ritual

Netflix recently released their first horror movie of the year. The film is called The Ritual, which is loosely based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Adam Nevill. I watched the trailer for it last month and it definitely drew me in. Horror movies are my favorite so I’m always open to new ones especially when it looks as if it has the potential to be decent.


Luke, Dom, Phil and Hutch are four college friends that reunite to pay tribute to a friend by taking a trip. The group embarks on a hiking trip in Sweden. One of them gets injured, which slows them down so they mutually decide to take a rest stop until the daylight. As they look for somewhere to rest, they come across a vacant cabin that will accommodate them. As they settle into the cabin, they discover some eerie relics within it as well some odd things surrounding the cabin like a deer cut open and hanging from a tree. Despite everyone being spooked they still decide to spend the night there, but when they wake up they are never the same again.


I particularly enjoyed how the writers included Norse mythology and tied it into an evil, sacrificial thing. I think it’s always interesting when there’s a little truth to the creepiness. It was mentioned in the film that the evil that is being worshipped is a “jötunn” which is basically Swedish for a God or entity. One of the people that lived in the village where Luke and Dom were held captive explains that she and the people there worship a bastard god-spawn of Loki, but they cannot utter his name. She also says that from worshipping and making sacrifices they are granted an extended life.


The film initially gave me a Hostel feel in the beginning because the characters’ naiveness felt so familiar. They literally went into the woods with an old fashioned compass and thought that they would make it to the lodge within in a day, but they were already somewhat lost along with the fact that had no clue about the area they were in.

The group’s trip into the wilderness made them face their fears especially the character, Luke. Luke was struggling with his guilt for not intervening in a robbery that could have prevented his late friend’s death. Throughout the duration of the film, he had dreams about it, but I believe that it was the entity preying on his weakness.

The ending disappointed me. As the movie was wrapping up the smoke cleared and it was becoming laughable rather than giving off its initial creepiness. I felt like the ending had much more potential and could have went in any direction, but instead it was just like ehh. I will still say the movie is worth watching. It’s interesting and refreshing to have a new horror movie in Netflix’s catalogue.

Check out the trailer below

Series Review: La Casa de Papel

La casa de papel is a Spanish series that aired for one season in two parts last year. The series originally aired on Antena 3 and late last year it was added to Netflix’s catalog.

La casa de papel is about a group of criminals who are recruited by a man who calls himself The Professor. The Professor basically makes them stay at an estate and keeps them in seclusion so that he can educate and train them on how to properly execute the ultimate heist. He also tells them they cannot have personal relationships with one another nor can they know each other’s name. They must name themselves after cities and be cordial. Over the course of some months, the professor prepares them to take over the Royal Mint of Spain and occupy it with hostages so that they have enough time to print a couple billion euros.

The series consists of betrayal, affairs, death, babies and schoolkids, but mainly money. The group whole’s objective was to get freshly printed money that isn’t traceable and stick to the plan, but what the group didn’t take into account was all of the other factors that would hinder the heist.

I really enjoyed this series. It kept me on edge a lot because you never knew what the next according to The Professor’s plans, the police’s or the gang’s. He had a backup plan for pretty much anything that could possibly happen. He was meticulous and strategic. He pretty much thought ahead of the police for awhile and even manipulated the inspector into dating him unsuspectingly so that he had an inside scoop on everything that was going on. The gang’s determination to see this heist through was only fueled by their own agendas for their cut of the money because that was the only motivating force for many of them. The hostages who consisted of employees, the general public and schoolkids initially seemed to be afraid and just waited for their fate. However, the hostages used their wits and worked together to fight for their lives which was interesting because the typical heist movie or show would never have given hostages that much courage.

I highly recommend that you guys check it out. It’s unlike anything you’ve ever watched especially if you’re used to watching typical American TV and films.

My Black History Month TV Show & Movie List

Pariah (2011)

Alike, a 17-year-old girl living in Brooklyn, lives a double life because she has been hiding her sexuality from her overly religious mother and absentee father. She is an aspiring poet who is devoted to her academics, but is struggling to keep up with the façade she puts on for family as she is learning about herself and her sexuality identity.

The Incredible Jessica James (2017)

Jessica is a young black woman who is the embodiment of eccentric and colorful. She is a struggling playwright living in NYC who’s going through a recent breakup and trying to move forward with her life. While dating she finds an unlikely love interest who has her smitten and rethinking some of the things in her life.

Mudbound (2017)


Set in 1945 shortly after World War II in rural Mississippi, a time and place where Jim Crow laws were alive and well. The film focuses on the of lives of two families who coexist on the McAllan family’s farmland. Jamie and Ronsel come back home from the war to face the life they left behind.

Fruitvale Station (2013)

22-year-old Oscar Grant was in the process of getting back on his feet to support his family when his life took a turn for the worse. Fruitvale station recounts the days leading up to the night that Oscar Grant was involved in an altercation with police on New Year’s Eve that ultimately ended in tragedy.

She’s Gotta Have It (2017- Present)

Spike’s Lee movie turned TV series is about Nola Darling, a black artist who lives a liberating yet complicated life all while juggling multiple lovers. The series touches many of the current issues that are faced in today’s society especially in the black community.

Fences (2016)

Fences was originally written as a play by playwright, August Wilson in 1985. 30 years later, the  play was transformed into a film that depicted the lives of a black family in Pittsburgh who are battling race, mental illness, infidelity and dysfunction between their relationships.

Dayveon (2017)

Dayveon is struggling to cope with his brother’s death. He spends his days roaming the streets of his rural town in Arkansas. With no real guidance or parental figures in his life, he succumbs to his environment and joins the life of violence.

Insecure (2016- Present)

This series is partially based Issa Rae’s web series, Awkward Black Girl. Issa and Molly are best friends who face their flaws and insecurities head on in a series of uncomfortable situations and encounters. They constantly reflect on their morals and beliefs as they work to overcome hardships in their personal and work lives.

Detroit (2017)

This film goes back in time to 1967 to depict the events that occurred in the Algiers Motel in Detroit, Michigan. During that time, there had been numerous riots in Detroit that had vandalized the city so as a result the city was heavily patrolled especially at night. Two friends decide to stay at a motel for the night instead of attempting to make their way home through the heavily patrolled city. Their night goes awry when they’re hanging out with two white women at the motel and a gun goes off. The film depicts the hours the people in the motel spent being interrogated and beaten by the police for a confession.

13th (2016)

Filmmaker Ava DuVernay takes an in depth look into the history of racial inequality in the United Stated by focusing on the nation’s prisons that are disproportionately filled with African Americans.

12 Years a Slave (2013) 


Solomon Northup is a free black man from upstate New York who is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the south. Northup endures the cruelty of slavery at the hands of his malicious owner, but also finds kindness as he struggles to maintain his dignity as a slave who was once a free man. His life changes forever during the 12th year when he encounters an abolitionist from Canada.

Selma (2014)


In 1964, the Civil Rights Act legally desegregated the South. However, despite the Civil Rights Act many black people still faced discrimination in certain areas, which made it difficult for black people to register to vote. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his followers embarked on an historic march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama. Dr. King and his followers’ effort ultimately led to President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Loving (2016)

Loving tells the story of interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving who went up against the Supreme Court in 1967. The two fell in love and married in 1958. They spent most of their lives in Central Point, which is a small town in Virginia. However, in the state of Virginia their interracial marriage was considered illegal and ultimately led to their incarceration at one point. The Loving family temporarily relocates in Washington, D.C., but ultimately tries to find their way back to their hometown. The couple’s strife led to the Supreme Court’s decision of invalidating the prohibition of interracial marriage in the state of Virginia.

Black-ish (2014-Present)

Dre Johnson seems to have it all as he has a great job, a beautiful wife, four kids and a big home in a nice neighborhood, but he starts to questions whether his success as a black man has created some distance between himself and black culture. Dre makes it his mission to create a sense of ethnic identity for his family members that will allow them to honor and acknowledge their identity as black people

Imitation of Life (1959) 


Lora Meredith is a single white mother who by chance encounters Annie Johnson, a black widow. Annie eventually becomes the caretaker for Lora’s daughter, Suzie while Lora pursues her dream of being on Broadway. Lora and Annie both face the difficulties of single motherhood. Lora struggles to maintain a relationship with Suzie as she strives for her Broadway career while Annie’s fair skinned daughter struggles with her black identity.

Moonlight (2016)


The film is told in three parts that shows Chiron’s life as a youth, an adolescent and as a young adult. Chiron spends most of his life growing up in Liberty City, Miami. Throughout his life, he faces many hardships such as, depression, struggling with his sexual identity all while trying to live with his mother as she battles her drug addiction.

The Butler (2013)

After leaving the South, Cecil Gaines is given the opportunity of a lifetime when he is hired as a butler at the White House. Throughout his thirty years as a butler, Cecil has been able to see history and the inner workings of the Oval Office unfold firsthand during historical events like the Civil Rights Movement. However, his commitment to the first family leads to complications with his family at home which ultimately puts a strain on the relationship he has with his wife and son.

Southside with You (2016)

In 1989, former President Barack Obama was a law student working as a summer associate at law firm in Chicago. Obama tries to win the heart of Michelle Robinson, a young lawyer and his supervisor at the law firm.

Queen Sugar (2016- Present)

Estranged Bordelon siblings, Nova, Charley and Ralph Angel must come together in Louisiana to make decisions in regards to their father’s sugar cane farm after his death. Nova is a journalist and an activist; Charley is the wife and manager of an NBA player while Ralph Angel who was recently released from jail is trying to get his life together for his son. The three siblings who live completely different lives and have experienced different things throughout their lives must put their differences aside for the betterment of their family’s legacy.

Dear White People (2014)

A campus culture war between black students and white students at a predominantly white school arises when the staff of a humor magazine stages an offensive Halloween party where many of the white students in attendance were in blackface. The film explores racial identity from the viewpoint of four black students attending a predominantly white school.

Celia (2015)

Celia tells the story of Afro-Latina music legend, Celia Cruz. The telenovela highlights the beginning of Cruz’s career where she developed her passion for singing in the 1950s along with her recognition as being the most pivotal singer of La Sonora Matancera. It shows how throughout the years, Celia Cruz was able to leave Cuba and conquer Latin music which led to her being one of the most recognized Salsa singers.

How to Get Away with Murder (2014)

Annalise Keating is a brilliant professor of defense law and teaches a course called How to Get Away with Murder. Keating is also a criminal defense attorney. She handpicks a group of students that she considers to be the best and the brightest. The group that handpicks assists her with her cases alongside her employees, Frank and Bonnie. Life changing situations arise that reveal dark secrets and will ultimately test the students’ wit and loyalty.

Chewing Gum (2015)

This British series follows the everyday shenanigans of Tracey Gordon. Tracey is a religious, Beyoncé-obsessed 24-year-old whose unusual and naïve outlook on life always gets her into trouble, but she seems to learn a little about the way the world works as time goes on.

Atlanta (2016)

Up and coming rapper, Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles is trying to find middle ground with street life and real life while developing his rap career. His cousin, Earn has returned to Atlanta and is now his manager. Earn devotes most of his time to getting his cousin’s rap career to the next level. Alfred spends most his time with his right hand man, Darius. When Earn isn’t busy managing his cousin he’s preoccupied with his daughter and his complicated with relationship with her mother, Vanessa who is also his best friend.

Time: The Kalief Browder Story (2017)


At just 16 years old, Kalief Browder spent three years in Rikers Island awaiting trial. Browder spent two of those three years in solitary confinement. He was arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack. The case was never prosecuted and the charges were ultimately dropped. In 2015, Kalief Browder committed suicide two years after his release from jail. The six-part series delves into Browder’s life through first person accounts, archival footage and recreations of key points in his life. The series also includes a wide range of people who are connected to his story.

I Am Not Your Negro (2016)

In this documentary, Raoul Peck envisions the book James Baldwin never finished back in 1987. In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project that would go unfinished. Baldwin started a book called “Remember This House.” The book was set to be revolutionary and historical. In it he would recall his personal accounts of the lives and ultimately the assassinations of three of his close friends who were Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.

Daughters of the Dust (1991)


Set in 1902, a family of former West African slaves living in the Gullah community of the coastal South Carolina suffers a generational split. The film is narrated by the unborn daughter of Eli and Eula who tells the stories of her ancestors who strive to maintain their family’s legacy and culture in the Gullah community while some want to move onto the mainland for a modern way of life.


My Trip to New Orleans

I had a little technical error with my post on my trip to Nola so here it is again.

Back in September, I went to New Orleans and stayed 10 mins outside of the French Quarter

I stayed at an Airbnb for the duration of my trip. I was in NOLA for 4 days and my Airbnb (click the link for the rental info) only cost me $300. It was a 2 bedroom apartment that had up to date amenities. The Airbnb was located about 10 mins from the French Quarter so my ubers cost about $8.

I’m not from New Orleans and didn’t know anyone from there so I didn’t exactly know the area that my Airbnb was located in. The neighborhood was ehh, but the interior was superb. Everything was pretty much up to date and there was AC so I was satisfied. It was scorching hot for the duration so I was thankful.

The weather in New Orleans is typically very hot and humid. The weather was pretty and clear for most of my trip, but on the last day of my trip it rained nonstop.

The French Quarter is basically the bustling downtown area of New Orleans. It’s oversaturated with tourists and everything is overpriced, but there’s a lot of unique souvenirs & etc. During the day, you’ll see painters and at night there’s psychics who occupy the area. It’s interesting to say the least.

Some of the popular food spots to go to are Cafe Du Monde, French Marketplace, Tropical Isle, and Fire Food & Spirits.

Cafe Du Monde is the place to go for beignets because it’s their specialty so that’s pretty much all they serve.


Fire Food & Spirits is a cool restaurant and bar located about 15 minutes outside of New Orleans. The service wasn’t that great, but the food was good. I went there and got a seafood platter that had catfish, crawfish, and shrimp with pasta.

The French Marketplace is where you can go to get lunch, dinner and do a little flea market shopping. I stopped there for lunch and got a catfish Po’boy. It wasn’t horrible, but I wasn’t impressed.


There are two Tropical Isle bars located on Bourbon Street that sell the hand grenade drinks. I decided to try another bar called Willies Chicken Shack that has these really tall margarita drinks.


Down by Canal St there is Riverwalk Outlet, which is basically a mall so if you ever need a last minute outfit or something stop there. Behind the outlet there is a ferry that costs $2 one way and will take you to Algiers Point which is considered to the “Brooklyn” of Nola. The trolley is also cheap and costs $1.25.


Canal Street gives you like an LA/Miami feel with the palm trees and streets but it’s definitely one of a kind with there being a trolley going up and down the street every 5 mins which unlike the two.

Bourbon Street is not for the weak hearted. It’s definitely an acquired taste. There’s tons of people… Very drunk people. Ladies don’t wear heels. Always pay attention to what’s going on around you as well. I had numerous strangers walk up to me and get really close to me (my purse). However it’s still cool to just be out and enjoy a night out. I was able to see a wedding second line parade which was really dope.


While I was there I went to two museums. I went to the Historic Voodoo Museum, which was quaint and small, but very intriguing and creepy. There was a lot of Creole history in the museum. People placed pictures and money offerings on the relics. There was a “wish stump” where people wrote their wishes down, followed the instructions and placed the paper on the stump with a money offering. Definitely a must see if you’re ever in New Orleans and admission is $5.

The second museum I went to was the Museum of Death. I wasn’t allowed to take any pics, but the museum basically had pictures of crime scenes such as, the Nicole Simpson crime scene, notes/letters from the kids who were apart of the waco cult and there was stuff there related to morticians tools/supplies. If you’re squeamish or faint don’t go. It’s not that much gore, but I’m sure it can be too much for some.

New Orleans is a Southern city so despite it being a seemingly colorful and exciting melting pot of people there are still racial tensions and looks of disdain. It’s best to do most of the activities and sightseeing in a group. If you go somewhere and don’t feel comfortable just leave. Safety first ☝🏾

Always make sure your phone is charged. The French Quarter is winding and confusing at first but you still want to make sure you know where you are at all times.

Overall my trip was really fun. I had fun meeting new people, trying new dishes and exploring the city. I’ll definitely be back soon

Tips for Traveling Wisely and Budget Friendly✈️💸🤓

I’m currently shopping around for a plane ticket deal for my birthday weekend getaway and thought it would be good idea to share my tips for traveling and booking on a budget. Here’s the list that I basically run through when I go through the process.

Flight deals

Snagging a decent flight deal and saving a couple coins always helps. When searching for flight deals be mindful of the small like the deal may be dirt cheap, but you have to suffer through a 10 hour layover or you can only leave with a certain time frame that probably doesn’t work for you.

Where to find flight deals:

Flight deals can be found on an airline’s site if you book early enough. However, you can find flight deals on twitter through these accounts: airfarewatchdog, theflightdeal, airfarespot. Cheapoair and Google flights are two good options as well. Google flights lets you put in the information then show you what airlines are going to your destination, what time, the duration of the flight, layovers and etc. The best part about using Google flights is that they have a calendar so by utilizing the calendar you are able to see the trend in the prices, which will tell you the best, cheapest or most expensive time of year to travel to whichever city.

Also, if you have the patience, energy and time you can leave from JFK (NY) and your flight will be about $200/$300 cheaper


Always be mindful of what airline you fly with. Within the past year or so many people have dealt with some horrible things while flying with certain airlines. When I went to New Orleans just a couple months ago I flew with Spirit Airlines. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t horrible, but if I would’ve flew with a different airline I would’ve paid about $300 more.


Timing is everything when you’re looking to go on a trip. Don’t get me wrong you can book a last minute trip and things can work out just fine. However, it is in your best interest to book as early as possible. Also, you want to find out what’s the best time of year to visit your destination. What will the weather be like? What events are going on during that time? Have they recently experienced a natural disaster? It’s important to be aware of things for your safety and to ensure that you enjoy your trip.

Airbnb or Hotel

 Where you go is dependent upon whether you should stay at a hotel or an Airbnb. In some cities it’s in your best interest to stay at a hotel as far as having a comfortable stay if you’re traveling abroad or to save money because you’re in a pricey city. However, there are times when staying at an Airbnb is the best option. Airbnb gives you an at home feel with prices that range from reasonable to astronomical depending on what you want.  Something that’s super helpful for most is the book now, pay later option with Expedia. By doing book now, pay later you’ll be able to book your room and pay when you arrive. Always read the reviews for whichever option you’re leaning towards and make sure you weigh your options.

 Social Media

Social Media is a big help for me. Utilizing the search tool will give the inside scoop on things like reviews, scenery, and etc. For example, to get an idea of what a certain city or place looks like I’ll search it on Instagram where I can view various pictures of it, the kind of people that’s there and what the atmosphere is like. On sites like Yelp and Facebook, you can get detailed reviews on restaraunts, spas and many other places so that you know whether you should go there or not.


 Always read reviews they’re your best friend especially when looking for hotels, an Airbnb or somewhere to eat.


Once you have a general idea of where you’re going to be for the duration of your stay scope it on Maps or Google Maps to see what you’ll be near. You’ll want to know how close you’ll be to the activities you’re doing. Also, it would be useful to know where’s the nearest grocery store, food spots or pharmacy. Another thing to do would be get price estimates on your Uber, Lyft trips or public transportation if that’s how you plan on getting around.


 Don’t be in a rush to exchange your currency at the first place you see. Hold tight if you can to get the best exchange rate otherwise you’ll lose money trying to get money.

One last thing! Pay attention to cancellation fees and dates!!!

This is pretty much everything that has come to mind for me. I hope this was helpful and useful for anyone looking to travel wisely and budget friendly. Safe travels!