Saturday, February 24, 2018

The Black Panther Rocks the Box Office

I saw the Black Panther movie tonight. Michael B. Jordan did an epic job as a villain. I prefer him as a street wise good guy and look forward to seeing Creed II but it was awesome. The character Black Panther first made his appearance in Captain America Civil War.

The Black Panther movie is well done. It's like a futuristic Lion King saga with swag. More importantly, it has a message that ties in with the theme of my book: "I think therefore I am. I feel therefore I act." The struggle between good and evil continues so it does.

When I was in New York back in the /80's I stayed with the Guardian Angels in Harlem at the 155th street Headquarters. Tut was a real life super hero. They called him the New York City secret weapon. Tut had swag. I was very naive back then. I had watched the movie Warriors a million times before I went to New York hoping to see some gang activity. I had also read the Nicky Cruz story Run Baby Run when I was young.

By the time I got to New York most of the gangs were all gone. I saw some Black Panther graffiti in Harlem and I asked the guys what they were. I said are they a gang? No they replied, they're a black power movement. Black power I thought to myself. Sounds good to me. I'm all for equal opportunity. Before I left New York, Tut taught me an important life lesson.

Tut knew I was going to travel around the world with next to no money in my pocket. He put a dollar bill in my hand and said "I'm going to tell you the same thing a wise man once told me. Take a look at that dollar bill. It doesn't say on it how you earned it. It doesn't say whether you were a garbage collector, ditch digger or an executive. Everyone's money looks the same."

Tut said everyone wants a nice flashy job on Wall Street. He said some people are too proud to work. He said no matter where you go you will always be able to find work if you're not too proud to take it." He was absolutely right. When I got to Israel I showed up at the kibbutz office with five dollars in my pocket. The lady was going to send me to one of the nice fancy kibbutz far away and I just shook my head and looked down. I said naw, I don't have enough money for a bus ticket all the way out there. Do you have anything closer?

She couldn't believe I had made it to the other side of the world with only five dollars in my pocket. She asked me what I was planning on doing if I wasn't able to get on a kibbutz. I just shrugged my shoulders and said, I noticed the youth hostel I was staying at was looking for a cook. I'm a chef by trade. I figured I'd be able to work there a while if I didn't get in here. She just shook her head and sent me on my way. It was an amazing experience so it was.

Like everyone else I've had a few setbacks in life. That's just reality. Character is seeing how we carry out a decision after the emotion of making that decision has past. Determination, fortitude - these are the tools that make men great. As Rocky Balboa said, "It's not how hard you can hit in life it's how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward."

In the words of Rare Earth, "I had my hand on a dollar bill and the dollar bill blew away. But the sun is shining down on me and it's here to stay. I put my faith in the people and the people let me down so I turn the other way and carry on any how." As I said before, I think therefore I am. I feel therefore I act. To thine own self be true yo. Keep the Faith.

If I could turn back the hands of time I wouldn't. I rather move forward.

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