International Women’s Day: Wakanda and the Vision for Women in Africa

The female warriors of Wakanda’s Dora Milaje in Marvel’s 2018 film, “Black Panther,” are revered for their strength and beauty. This portrayal of these women has been heralded for its empowering message to little girls, particularly little Black girls.

Based on the recounts of many online, viewers have been emotionally swept by the images of bold, brave, kick-ass women, leaders in their own right. And although this is a powerful experience to have, we mustn’t forget that it isn’t real. Wakanda is a vision of an African nation we want to birth, not an African nation that currently exists.

“The harvest is now. We lack nothing. We are here and we are ready to determine our OWN destiny.”

And then Danai ended her speech with commanding us ONWARD in Wakandan like she would the Dora Milaje and so I am now inconsolable. #BlackWomeninHollywood pic.twitter.com/zLdfvjGVUW

— Sylvia Obell (@SylviaObell) March 1, 2018

It’s true that many African cultures are perceived to be matriarchal, and certainly many follow a matriarchal lineage when it comes to status and ethnic identity. However, the status of women all over the continent is a far cry from those of the fabled Dora Milaje.

In 2018, women in Africa suffer higher rates of poverty, are significantly less educated than their male peers, hold far less political positions than men, and lack access to capital, a vital component for economic empowerment. Violence against women is rampant, including female genital mutilation, and little girls are still married off as child brides in alarming numbers.

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Food Adventure: National Bagel Day at Bullfrog Bagels

When I was in grad school, I had a very close friend who happened to be Jewish. He was a bagel fanatic and he taught me tons about the history of bagel making by Jewish people. He would go on and on about how real bagels should taste. I would laugh at him for being so picky. However, I must say that after spending so much time with him hunting for that authentic bagel flare, I have become a bit of a bagel snob. If my bagel isn’t chewy and if it has the consistency of Wonder Bread, I’m gonna be upset!

Imagine my joy when I discovered that I had a magical bagel shop right in my neighborhood that serves up fresh baked bagels with their own in house cream cheese. Joy, complete joy, that’s all I can say about the feeling I got from eating my first Bullfrog bagel.

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Memories and Mimosas: Cheers to a beautiful life

Memories-and-Mimosas

REFLECTION

It’s the thing that we often forget when we are trying to organize our lives.

However, how can you create a vision for your future without taking time to reflect on your past?

Scrapbooking is a fun way to use your creativity to help you remember your accomplishments, the wonderful moments that have meaning, and those special people you shared them with.

Scrapbooks serve as visual reminders of how far we’ve come and can be a great source of motivation for where we want to go.

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