Nashville fans get regal for ‘Black Panther’ opening

In Nashville, Tennessee, fans of “Black Panther” were treated like royalty at a VIP event where the new movie had its first public showings on several screens, which had more than a 100 people waiting in line to celebrate.
The fans came dressed in dashikis, long flowing gowns made in Nigeria, African prints, headdresses and even Black Panther costumes.
“I thought it was very important to bring my teenage son to see the atmosphere and have the actual experience of this movie, with showing all the positive roles of African Americans and some of the Africans in this movie,” said Maxine Holt Donaldson. “So I thought that was very important heritage-wise — and it’s Black History Month, as well.”
Her son said he was glad to see African culture portrayed in an superhero film.
“Yes, it really has been something for me looking forward to, because, as a child I have been into geeky nerdy things and everything,” he added. “And with sci-fi, and I love that African American heroines get to be portrayed this way.”
Elisheba Mrozik is a tattoo artist and said she is hosting a “Black Panther”/Black History Month art exhibit in her shop in Nashville. “We’re excited because we get representation in a film that’s not about slavery, that’s not about trials and tribulations, but about a powerful African empire, which is where we come from in the first place,” Mrozik said.
She noted that she even recently tattooed the Black Panther on a customer just in time for the film’s release. She wore a flowing custom made gown of purple, yellow and black, with a long cape that she swished back and forth on the carpet.
“I got it made in Nigeria, especially for February, ‘Black Panther,’ and our art immersion thta we’re having on the 24th with ‘Black Panther’ art. Anyway we can celebrate, look awesome and do it in fabrics from the motherland.”
The White family from Nashville wore custom-made African gowns and suits for the event because it made them feel connected to royal roots. “It’s just an opportunity to explore those regal roots, and to know that some of us do come from royalty,” commented Latarsher White. “It’s bigger than just what we see every day and what’s represented.”
Kermit El-Amin wore his African tribal prints to work that day. “And I work in a downtown environment,” he explained. “It’s a corporate environment, but just as Alysha was saying, I wanted to make sure that people knew that I really felt comfortable,” El-Amin said. “Feel comfortable in the skin that I am in and feel comfortable doing things like this.”

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