By Victor Ochieng
Black History Month has seen a lot of activities take place in celebration of the Black heritage. The release of the Black Panther film blended in pretty well and gave everyone another level of reason to celebrate the month. The film is set in Africa in a fictitious country called Wakanda. It reintroduces the beauty of Black culture and gives it a high level of appeal.
Yes, that’s the reason why many people chose to identify with the film. Many businessmen and institutions chose to buy a large number of tickets to give out so that more people would get an opportunity to watch the highly publicized movie.
Interestingly, churches weren’t left behind. Trinity United Church of Christ was one of the churches that bought tickets for their members. The church took it to another level when they made it clear that they’d be holding an objective discussion on the film after watching it.
The church is led by Pastor Otis Moss III, who’d earlier made it clear that Black Panther has so much for people to learn from. That said, Moss is one of the new generation pastors who believe that the ministry cannot be separated from the goings on in the world; he says that love and justice are inseparable and that they form the very foundation of the Gospel of Our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ.
To make their statement, the church chose to have a display borrowed from the Black Panther at the entrance of the church. It included someone posing as a Black superhero, with four women holding spears on both sides. This was more to identify with the Black Panther movie and to prepare the congregants for the objective discussion on the film that he’d talked about earlier.
While some viewed this as quite progressive when it comes to sharing the gospel word, others felt the church took the whole thing way too far. There are those who feel that, despite the excitement surrounding the movie, churches shouldn’t be overly involved in it.
Renee Besa commented, saying, “Why are the Churches losing their minds over his movie??? We are in the WORLD but NOT of the WORLD…”
Another asked, “Are they worshiping Christ or Black Panther??? Black Panther is a FICTIONAL MOVIE that envisions a nation uninhabited by the outside world and how parts of Africa COULD HAVE LOOKED LIKE without outside interference…But let’s not prop up the movie as some sort of validation of our TRUE SELF WORTH IN THE REAL WORLD.”
What’s your take on it?