Passport To Wakanda: How To Get Your Black Ass Ready For An Audience With The King

Look Wakandans, you only get one opportunity to see Black Panther for the first time. And because Black Panther So Lit, the Black Nerd Problems staff is not playing around for the premiere.

First, I did a ‘23 and Me’ to find the exact African nation my folks came from. Then I copped a one-way plane ticket there and slept under a Shea fruit tree. Waited for the fruit to ripen, extracted the nut (phrasing), roasted and crushed the kernels. Added water, boiled then emulsified the paste. Lathered up in 100% pure organic shea butter from the roots of my locs to the sole of my Adidas Son Gohans. Got the baby Simba/T’Challa tattoo on my D’Angelo ab section (I know that you know where I’m talking ’bout). Wrapped my black ass in cellophane to preserve peak Blackness. Got a ticket back to NYC for the premiere with only the freshest cocoa sheen on my skin and the dopest Black Panther tee for my soul. You might see me in the line outside in ten degree weather talmbout, *Chadwick T’Challa voice* “I never freeze.” – Frantz


As soon as 12:00am 2018 hit, it’s been Wakandan Black Panther season. Now it’s Black Panther Daps with the X arms across my chest always. Copped a vitellaria tree, took my pre-existing aloe plant and cross pollinated them bad boys in a Masai Shield Flowerpot. Now I’m glistening. Started growing my hair and found some pink lotion from ’93 cuz I got the baby curls on spin cycle. Deaded the gym. It’s straight cat-like Parkour through Central Park in a BP costume I got on layaway at K-Mart. Healthy eating habits? Na. Been bodying nothing but fried chicken and pork fried rice from the hood chino spot. Copped me a pair of Timbs to go wit my 4X Black Panther tee down to my knees. February 16. We out. – Ja-Quan

I’m Black y’all, and I’m Black y’all, and I’m Blackety black and I’m Black y’all.

I have spent the past few weeks preparing myself, getting my Blackness in peak shape. I am on a strict 10 step Glo Up routine.

1. Every morning I eat a Popeyes biscuit sans water
2. I wear six durags and five bonnets to bed and only sleep on silk pillows
3. I bathe in coconut oil and shea butter, only purchased from a dude on the train selling bootleg oils
4. I only watch Eddie Murphy movies, Roots or anything with a Wayans sibling
5. I whisper Anthony Hamilton lyrics into the pot of collard greens that’s always simmering on my stove


6. There’s hot sauce in my bag, my back pocket, under my bonnet and tucked into my J’s,
7. On my mantle is an airbrushed picture of MLK, Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, the Obamas, Beyoncé, and Murphy Lee
8. I only listen to “Lift Every Voice and Sing”
9. I only answer to ‘Queen’, ‘Ma’ or ‘Shawty’
10. I take a knee every time I see white folks – Bee

I ventured out into the woods under the light of the full moon on New Year’s Day. I dug a hole and carefully placed my offerings into it: a first edition of The Color Purple, a VHS tape of How Stella Got Her Groove Back, a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos, an Afro pick with a Black Power fist on the top, a picture of Wallace from The Wire; and finally, a hair from Chadwick Boseman’s head (don’t ask). Next came the sacred dance. I put my headphones on and performed the Electric Slide until I collapsed from exhaustion.

I slept there, until a faint cry awoke me. My eyes opened to see a baby panther before me, covered in dirt from clawing itself out of the hole. The mighty beast will reach maturity February 16. Upon which date, we will stride gloriously into the (pet friendly) premiere of the beast’s namesake. – Jamil

I started bringing the Wakandan realness months ago. I dress my toddler in so much kente cloth, he looks like a yellow and red QR code. I’ve put giant glass beads on my pit bull’s tail and wrapped aluminum foil around the tip to keep them on. I sold stock in Tesla to fund imports of ankara fabrics. I showed up at my tech company’s holiday party wearing a metal-studded black leather catsuit and threatened anyone who looked at me funny with a staff. By the time I arrive at the theater on February 16, I will have fully transformed myself into a Black Power fist Afro pick. – Lauren

I’d be wrong to say I’m doing the most by myself. This is a family affair. Me and my daddy linking up cause of it is our duty as father and son to represent. We getting our best outfits ready, wearing black on black like it’s the opposite of a Puffy party. I’m letting my 11-year old brother know that I pulling him outta school in the middle of the day and when they ask why, I’m gonna be like “It’s for the culture”, so he better be ready. Shiiiit, I’m already doing my research to find the best seamstress to make me my own personal Wakandan flag to carry into the theater. On the way, we gonna drive with the windows down, bumping A Tribe Called Quest’s Midnight Marauders as loud as we can. All I know is that the theater better have the black carpet ready for when we get there on February 16th because we coming in deep with backpacks full of barbecue chicken, mac n’ cheese, and various snacks in Tupperware. – Chris


It has become obvious to me that I was born to be a Dora Milaje. Regardless of my fitness level, I deserve to be surrounded by other Black women who call me Beloved, to socialize with the Damisa-Sarki, and to spend my vacation time beating the snot out of white dudes who dare to speak to any of us.

To get back to my birthright, I’ve changed my name to something with a Z and an apostrophe in it. I have taken to wearing hoods everywhere I go, so I can look mysterious. When it is cold, I also wear a cape. I open my corporate emails with “To the People,” and close them with “For Wakanda”. My boss is too scared to ask me why. I bought a staff and a spear, which I practice with in the backyard. Well, maybe not “practice”. Ok, I *have* a staff and a spear. Actual practice would tire me out before the movie comes. I thought about using them to go out and solve crimes—I love Black Detective Twitter and NCIS: Los Angeles (the one with LL Cool J) but this ain’t Wakanda yet. This place won’t let me be great, but one day, one day soon… – Leslie

In preparation for the Wakandan high holy day, I took a pilgrimage to return myself to my most moisturized roots. My old hometown crew reunited the front stoops of 32nd St to sing the songs of the old ones at our mecca. We called the names of Miss Lucy and her hades-bound Sailboat, Rockin Robin, Little Sally Walker, and the Kentucky fair señorita with the flower in her hair (shake it). We exchanged homemade balms, butters, and lotions sealed tightly in old Tupperware. My offering? A coconut oil sugar scrub scented with a touch of the classic African Musk. I’ve since returned home and daily scent the air with Motions oil sheen as I toss the hair I’ve finger-combed out of my fro onto the sacred pyre kept alive by the scripts of Friends episodes.

I’ve taught my dog to play Spades so I’ll have a partner I can trust won’t renege and can’t talk across the table. We don’t bring the shame of lost books into this house. I’ve been playing Earth, Wind, & Fire, The Gap Band, Dru Hill, and Baltimore Club Music on repeat nonstop. My dog has learned to Hustle, Hand-dance, Two-step, Cha-cha Slide, Detroit Shuffle, and Bop. We have matching bonnets and acrylics. Ashe. – Brittany

It was a journey preparing for this day. No preparation is complete without a faithful dire wolf companion. Winter may be coming but that wasn’t going to stop us. We journeyed through the woods draped up in the finest tribal prints. War paint on our faces made from the soil under the Dragon Blood Tree. Stepping around in my Timbs. For food, we consumed nothing but mangos, coconuts, fried chicken, and .99 cent Arizona (not the $1 ones). We’re not getting robbed out here, B. Our workout regimen was brutal.

We fought bears, tigers and tried to figure out how many characters Martin Lawrence played on Martin. After a tiring day, the rain poured as we found shelter. I lit a fire hotter than my mixtape and my dire wolf and I rested. I rubbed Dr. Miracle on his hair as I rubbed Jamaican castor oil on mine. *Ice Cube Voice* Today was a good day. – Anissa

How am I preparing my Blackness for Black Panther’s movie release?
*Laughs from 33rd level of Black excellence* First of all,

I'm hella black mo gif
my blackness been conditioned for perfection since birth. Seeing Mom have her hot comb (with the wooden handle partially burned at the top, so you know it’s real) sittin’ on the stove like that Pyrex. Peak Blackness. Timberland boots on me no matter the weather: rain, sleet, snow, or bigots elected to the presidency of the United States of America. All-terrain Blackness. Don’t talk to me about centering the chakras of your Black excellence for Black Panther if you don’t know the quotient of the amount of bricks Jay-Z lost divided by the age of Pusha-T’s niece when she first felt chinchilla. “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t” Blackness.

I’ve been ready for this shit my entire life and stayed ready ’06 Kobe Jersey / time Usher was in the droptop cruising the streets. The question isn’t how I’m preparing for Black Panther, the real question is, “How am I sneaking this Lobster Bisque into the theater?” The ski mask way, that’s how. – Omar

I’ve been prepping for the royal Wakandan jubilee for at least a month of Sundays. I cleaned my home from top to bottom with Pine-Sol and bleach, scrubbing baseboards with rags made from old Easter dresses while simultaneously opening every Bastdamned window in the house. I threw away my Echo and renounced Spotify. The music in my household will only be played on 33s and 45s. I went on Pinterest and learned how to make pockets to sew into my purse so I have a good place for my hot sauce during the movie. Every scarf, beanie and hoodie I own has been lined with satin, because there are no split ends in Wakanda. I’ve sewn a one inch band of ankara fabric across the top of my Spanx and I’ve glued cowrie shells onto the straps of my good bra. For the culture. Me, my momma and my grandma got matching tattoos that say “The Adored Ones”. To make sure that my body is able to endure the stress of Dora Milaje mirror training, I became a strict hood vegan.

It is an entirely plant-based diet with the exception of cheese, perch, whiting, turkey necks in my greens and my grandma’s fried chicken on Sundays. I also use buttermilk for my cornbread, but only when my mama comes over. Most importantly, I sip a little Shug Avery bath water and Hennessy every night for my circulation. – Izetta

Prep? What is prep? This is life. I’ve been watching Creed, Civil War, Coming to America, Blade, Black Dynamite, and Undercover Brother all at the same time on 6 different screens, while reading James Baldwin, listening to Nina Simone and reciting the lyrics to Nas and Lauryn Hill’s “If I Ruled The World”! While playing The Color Purple patty cake in the mirror with my best friend, myself, waiting for my polyjuice potion to brew. I got a lock of Danai Gurira’s hair (pre filming) and a seat at the 2019 Oscars reserved (or BET Awards—we in there somewhere!) I’ve been quietly stalking the stars of the movie since the first cast member was announced because in reality, I only have one degree of separation between me and Lupita Nyong’o. My brother went to school with her SO… we are basically sisters. Imma be on that opening night red carpet smelling like frankincense and myrrh taking all the pics wit my sistah, Lupita, then making my way to the pre show cocktail party with Michael B. Jordan on my arm. And when me and Danai run into each other after my polyjuice potion has all worn off, it’ll be all laughs cuz we black. This is our time!

I’ve got the limo, the forged invitation, Ocean’s 11 or Ocean’s 8-type stealth plan. Plus, I scheduled a vacation. Got coconut oil in bulk to soak up all the sun I need for the radiant brown glow that is my black girl magic with the powers that say, “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for”, getting me in anywhere! Nobody has been more prepared. – Aisha

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