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Smiling Black Woman
Image: Jasmaine Cook

Black History Month is coming to an end, so we are wrapping it up with all the unapologetic blackness we experienced during the month of February. Y’all, it was lit!

Movies + Television

I know Proud Mary actually came out in January, but I had to include it because TARAJI P. HENSON AS A BAD-ASS ASSASSIN! She is the reason I still watch Empire, and she is definitely the reason I saw Proud Mary. The story was lacking a bit for me, but I enjoyed watching Mary handled her business. It’s definitely worth a rent just to see Mary’s gun action, and I hope to see more of Taraji being an action star.

Image: GIPHY

Now, Black Panther is the Big Joker of Black History Month 2018! The culture has been waiting for this movie for the longest time, and the time has finally come. I knew the movie would be amazing because I’ve been riding this Marvel train since the beginning, and even their “misses” are still decent movie going experiences. However, Black Panther is EVERYTHING, and the melanin was POPPIN’!!!! I didn’t realized how much it would touch my heart and spirit to see a black superhero movie with a majority black cast. I just saw the movie again yesterday to catch all the stuff I missed during the initial viewing, and it has officially topped Winter Soldier and Civil War as my favorite movie from the MCU. Now, I am even more pumped for Infinity War!! If you haven’t seen Black Panther yet, then do yourself a favor and go see it immediately, and you should probably see it at least twice. WAKANDA FOREVER!!!!!

Music + Podcasts

I have been listening to Black Love Matters for only a few months, but it has quickly earned a spot on the list of my favorite black podcasts. Niram and Niambi have the most amazing chemistry, and each show always features great topics. Above all else, I LOVE how they focus on black love because it is a beautiful thing, and it is not nearly celebrated enough. Three times a week, they share love stories submitted by real-life couples that will renew your faith in love, along with the usual segments of Kitchen Table Talk and Pillow Talk where they talk about ways to improve and strengthen relationships.

Code Switch is another recent add to my podcast playlist thanks to wanting more journalistic news from people of color, and this podcast has brought me everything I wanted and everything I didn’t even know I needed. I have only listened to a few episodes in the last couple of months, but they have all been great. My favorites so far have been the episode with Jemele Hill and the two-part episode about giving 2017 the biggest middle finger. You NEED some un-whitewashed news and commentary in your life, so add Code Switch to your favorite podcatcher immediately!

Books + Blogs

Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize-winning author Toni Morrison recently celebrated her 87th birthday! Since Morrison has made a career of writing about race relations and the black experience in America, then her birthday, February 18th in case you were wondering, is the perfect time to share the beautiful and powerful words of Toni Morrison.

Homegoing Book Cover

I don’t think I can properly put into words how beautiful Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi is and how much it moved me and my entire soul. It took way too long for me to get through the book, but that is mostly because of how much a chapter would just put me into all of my feelings, and I would need some time to marinate in the story, this heart-wrenching story was like reading the diary of my ancestors and reading the story of how I came to be in this world. I LOVED the unconventional storytelling of each chapter telling about a time in the life of the half-sisters and her respective descendents, and I was glad to see how the current descendents came together in the end, no matter how convenient it seemed to come together. Yaa Gyasi is a talented wordsmith and her debut novel has me wanting more. This is a great book to add to your reading list, especially if you’re looking to diversify your reading.

Your Turn

So…how did you celebrate Black History Month? Have you seen Black Panther yet? Do you still watch Empire? What podcasts are you currently loving? Let us know in the comments! |RL

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I’m Katisha, the wizard behind Reel Literature. As a longtime book nerd, I hate to see an amazing book spoiled by a lackluster movie. Join me as I read the books that have definitely been watered down and most likely ruined by Hollywood. With a lot of humor and a little snark, I share my thoughts on all things books and the movies they inspire. Find me in these internet streets on Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.


  1. I celebrated by posting a discussion/book recommendations post:
    “Can you stand the heat? Let’s talk! Should it be a “Black History Month”?”
    Homegoing was featured on that post 🙂
    you can find it here:
    Wasn’t black panther just PHENOMENAL???
    I’m not black and I was super moved [well my husband is half black and I love anything black so there! :0 ]

  2. This is fabulous! I haven’t seen Black Panther mostly because I have never seen ANY of the Marvel movies and I don’t know if it would make sense to me? But I kind of want to anyway, especially because I adore Michael B. Jordan. I loved him since he was (ready for it?) on All My Children like 15 years ago bwhaha. He was SO good, and I was like “damn, he is too good for this show” and turns out I was right 😀 I have always wanted to listen to some podcasts but my brain cannot pay attention, sad. I am glad you found a couple new ones to love!

    1. I think you can definitely see Black Panther without seeing the other Marvel movies. The only movie that you may want to see to give some context is Civil War because that’s when Black Panther made his first appearance.

      I totally agree about Michael B. Jordan being a gem! Looks like you know great talent when you spot it! My introduction to his greatness was on The Wire, and I absolutely LOVED him on Parenthood as Haddie’s boyfriend. Le sigh, he has the most beautiful smile!

      Yeah, when it comes to podcasts, you definitely have to find the right one. When it happens, it’s a whole new world!!!! 🙂

    1. Black Panther definitely lives up to all the hype! I’ve seen it three times, and it blew me away every single time. I’m not a parent, but I can only imagine the effort it takes to plan an outing once you have offspring. The good news is I heard Black Panther is coming to Netflix in September!

  3. That’s a beautiful picture you chose for the top of the post 🙂 I have not seen Black Panther yet, but I rarely ever watch movies at all, to be honest. But I am curious, what with everyone talking about it 🙂

    I have Homegoing, I should just read it already! You know how TBRs go… You’re really inspiring me to pick it up 🙂

    1. Yeah, that picture is amazing, right?! Black Panther is definitely the talk of the town, and it’s definitely worth checking out if it ever crosses your path. Yup, those TBR piles are always growing, but Homegoing is definitely worth moving to the top of the pile. 🙂