From the moment I received my invitation, the thought of the BLACK PANTHER World Premiere and the stroll down the carpet consumed me. My first thought was “what in the world will I wear” but settling into only thoughts of the event’s magnitude.
Seriously, I was truly overwhelmed with emotion, excitement and to be honest…concern. Yes, you read it correctly. I was concerned about the unspoken pressure of showing up acting as if I had it all together. This year, while we are only a few weeks in, has been so stressful and completely amazing all at the same time. And while the BLACK PANTHER pixie dust was amazing, my mind and heart was heavy with a few life changing decisions. Not to mention, I was having a dress made for the first time and I was extremely nervous about it.
Fast forward to Monday, January 29th – Chris Gees showed up and did an amazing job with my makeup. I put on what Marshall Weinbaum (Disney Cast Member and our fearless leader) called my “statement dress” designed by Darshel Renee of Excentre Designs and this gorgeous neck piece that I borrowed from Christine of Moms N Charge and I strutted my stuff on the purple carpet at the BLACK PANTHER World Premier.
As the night went on I began feeling so very peaceful and proud. The design on the carpet was stunning and well put together. I did not know it then but it complimented the set design in the movie very well. Just in case you are not familiar with BLACK PANTHER, it is direct by Ryan Coogler and based on Marvel’s superhero BLACK PANTHER and tells a story of T’Challa (BLACK PANTHER) returning home after the death of his father to succeed to the throne as king.
I am at a lost for words when trying to express my gratitude for the amazing opportunity of attending the World Premiere and walking the carpet with the cast and other celebrities like Chadwick Boseman (BLACK PANTHER), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Angela Bassett (Queen Ramonda), Usher, and Jamie Fox was incredible.
As I entered the door of the Dolby Theatre, all of my worries and concern began fading away. The awesomeness of this opportunity, beautiful African fabrics and designs, and the excitement around this highly anticipated movie filled me with joy.
I stepped up to the door and handed Kevin (I did not know him, but I read his name tag) my phone, as he locked it in the pouch I felt like he locked all my concerns along with it. And I just enjoyed the next few hours of magic at the WORLD PREMIERE OF BLACK PANTHER.
Watching BLACK PANTHER with the cast was incredible. It was a first-time experience for all of us and the energy was electrifying. I just loved the applause when an actor appeared on the screen for the first time, it was inspiring.
While I can’t speak for the other 24 top bloggers selected by Disney that attended the #BlackPantherEvent, I do feel confident saying that they too enjoyed the experience whether it was their first time, if they were a twobie like me, or multiple times like a few others. The experience can’t be duplicated.
We all have a story and moments of the event that made our “purple” carpet experience that much better. The most memorable for me was being escorted to take my photo on the carpet by Marshall. Marshall has the awesome job of working Disney, specifically working with bloggers for events like this one. And those of you who know me, I make it a habit to follow directions to a tee. So, when the “red carpet police” told me to follow the carpet directly into the theatre, I did just that. Well, there I was in the theatre alone, without my phone waiting for the rest of the group to come. The whole time thinking “I didn’t get my photo, but I feel super blessed”.
Suddenly, I see Marshall and I broke out into the biggest smile. He asked, “did you get your photo?” “No, I was instructed to come straight here” I responded. He grabbed my hand and walked me all the way back to the carpet and took my photo himself. Honestly, I felt like a true VIP. It made my whole night and I am so thankful to Marshall for giving me that moment.
Life has its way of dishing out some the most challenging times but even in those times of difficulty, frustration, and at times hopelessness…you can still choose joy. You can decide not to allow the heaviness of life to take you away from enjoying the incredibly magical moments in your life.
Over the next few weeks, I will be sharing more stories from the #BlackPantherEvent. Stay tuned for exclusive interviews with cast members Forrest Whitaker (Zuri), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi), Danai Gurira (Okoye), Andy Serkis (Ulysses Klaue/Klaw), and Winston Duke (M’Baku) and many more.