Don’t miss #WakandaForever …

Aiko Bethea
3 min readMar 1, 2018



Since my two black boys and Mr. Dad saw Black Panther (like the last four times), we’ve started to greet each other with #WakandaForevah, with the crossed arms and all. And, yeah, we’ve also been greeting our close friends and our regular black folx on the street the same way. And guess what, they were returning the greeting! (Note: We are in Seattle, so this is a BIG DEAL. It’s not like Atlanta or the south where it’s the norm to throw a greeting or a head nod to the brothers and sisters you pass.)

When we get off the phone, we say #WakandaForevah. When we’re encouraging one another, we say #WakandaForevah. When we’re celebrating one another, we say #WakandaForevah. When we’re acknowledging Black Excellence, we say #WakandaForevah.

Then, we realized that we were saying #WakandaForevah all the time, kinda like the Smurfs used the term “smurfy”. It just embraced So Many Things for us, that it couldn’t be contained to one meaning.

Black Panther has filled my heart and fed my soul. It’s moved me in so many ways. It’s moved Us. I see how it’s moved my other brothers and sisters. I see how it’s made blackness visible by others and even considered by others, for better or for worse.

So, I’m going to try my best to keep this party going and Keep This Joy. So tell me, what does #WakandaForevah mean to you?

Here’s the beginning of Our List, in no particular order:

  1. Black hair, is hair, is beautiful- As Is.

2. Black people are beautiful- with or without hair.

3. Black people are not a product of slavery and did not BEGIN with slavery.

4. Black people are creative.

5. Black people and black culture are art.

6. Black societies existed before white culture and western culture ever engaged with them.

7. Black societies were matriarchal too.

8. Affirmation: It is a fact that blackness is not welcomed in most spaces.

9. Black brilliance is a fact.

10. Universal Black love- for yourself and your people.

11. Universal Connection Among Us.

12. Pushing Us- Our Essence to The Front.

13. The Beginning.

14. Black people have a say and it is valid for us to assert this say.

15. There is a space of power and belonging for EVERYONE- regardless of age, gender, etc.

16. To be loyal to a country CAN be consistent with valuing one’s self and life- WHEN THAT COUNTRY VALUES YOU.

17. Being male does not equate to ruling over women.

18. Black liteness is beautiful: bantering, loving, joking, embracing- FREEDOM!

19. Women are powerful because Women Are Powerful.

20. Existing in a space where constant filtering, code switching, covering, and being Othered is not expected, and IS NOT NECESSARY FOR ME and my black people TO THRIVE AND SURVIVE.

21. Being black, being a woman, being powerful, and being loving are not in conflict.

22. Being black, being male, being powerful, and being loving are not in conflict.

23. We are a We- despite the tragedy.

24. I can speak truth, like acknowledging as a given that whites were colonizers.

25. We can See Each other for our mistakes and our hurts, and still love and forgive.

26. Having Black pride is not a protest. It is a valid state of being.

27. The truest form of innate energy within The People, the kind of energy that cannot be created or destroyed.

28. Welcome Home- to what it means to be black.

Now, it’s your turn…

Update: A recent Jimmy Fallon episode capturing what Black Panther and #WakandaForever means to some of us.

#BlackPanther #WakandaForever #Diversity



Aiko Bethea

Aiko is Founder of RARE Coaching & Consulting, a leadership development agency that focuses on emotional intelligence. NYT Best Seller: You Are Your Best Thing.