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Black Women are Kings

"The Woman King" is empowering black women to take back their power.

Written by Kohana Bondurant

Edited by Skye Patton

Photograph from TriStar Productions, The Woman King (2022)

Beyoncé's “My Power” plays in the background of “The Woman King's" climatic points of the film. The phrase,

“This that kinfolk, this that skin folk/This that war, this that bloodline”

rings in my ear and empowers my soul. I am not alone when these lyrics lift the cast up from the battlefield united as one and ready to be

“On the front line, ready for war.”

“The Woman King” represents Black women in a new hierarchy that has never been portrayed before in film.

These heroines not only lead the charge for the war within the film but take charge in exploring the complexity of these characters with historical origins.

The film incorporates contemporary practices used by Black women to nourish their hair, such as braiding. This showcased the beauty of Black hair and I saw myself in this film.

All types of Black women are given screen time in “The Woman King.”

Kinky to loose curls,

dark to light skin,

and all body types are welcomed onset.

The marvelous aspect of this film is the combat fighting these women endure. “Black Panther” walked so “The Woman King” could run.

The action sequences depict intricate movements that are seamless to the viewer. Each character shows off their training and work while on this film. The accuracy and attention to detail transports the viewers to 1820s West Africa, Kingdom of Dahomey.

Words cannot describe the impact this film had on me. A part of me wishes that this film was released sooner rather than later. I’m glad they did not rush production or the training aspect of this film, but my entire outlook on my skin color would have changed if I had seen Black women crowned as Kings earlier.

The credit scene forces you to reflect on how you have limited your own potential to not outshine others. Why did you make yourself so small?

How come you stayed silent?

Who are you to not stand up for yourself?

Insecure incidents of a reprimanded girl shying away from her crown, flood your memories.

The reason for not speaking up, for not correcting others, for not letting your voice be heard stems from,

“They feel a way, oh wow (Wow, wow, wow, wow)”

I cared more about what people perceived of me than I cared about myself.

“The Woman King” granted a space to let go of inhibitions and encouraged me to,

“protect my grace.”

So, no one could take away “My Power.”

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