This past weekend, the world lost one of our generations best, terrific, outstanding (any and all descriptions of greatness) actors in Chadwick Boseman. Boseman's death from colon cancer was a super shock to us all because most (if not all of us) didn't even know he had cancer. He had played so many iconic roles such as Thurgood Marshall, James Brown, and Jackie Robinson. I have to be honest and tell you that while I was aware of him as an actor and acting in those movies, he really didn't show up on my radar until he played T'Challa aka The Black Panther in the Marvel world. His demeanor was perfect for the role and his casting was pitch perfect. The Black Panther QUICKLY became one of my favorite movies....and it maybe even better than 'The Last Dragon'....hmmm...let me get back to you on that one. Anyway, I loved it so much that I couldn't wait to show Trey (and Eliet) what all the hoopla was about and you guessed it.....The Black Panther and Boseman/T'Challa quickly became Trey's favorite movie and actor.
So when we found out about his passing on Friday night, I was immediately sad but also thought about how I was going to break it to Trey about the news. So, Saturday morning, we are both on the couch and I turn on the TV and they (CNN) had just gotten finish with the Chadwick Boseman passing news and starting to talk about the march in DC that happened Friday. They said a few words and interviewed a few people. One of the people they interviewed mentioned how this march was timely because of the events that just happened in Wisconsin and how the wounds are still fresh from George Floyd and Breonna Taylor in this country and how the police STILL are killing black people at an alarming rate. Then the coverage shifted over to Covid and where we as a country are at with that. At that point, I turn to Trey and said 'Hey Bub....you heard about the Black Panther right?' He was on the iPad and kinda look up and said 'Yeah, I think so' I told him that he passed away last night and I don't know if it was because we just watched the story about the march or if the Covid story was still fresh on Trey's mind, but he then asked me 'How did he die? Did the police do it?' I kinda was shocked, but I didn't show him and I just said 'No, it wasn't the police' and then he said 'Did he have the corona virus?' and again, I got taken aback because Trey is only 8 and shouldn't even know about any of this....but I just said 'No....he died from colon cancer'. Trey just nodded, looked out the window and kept playing the iPad.
At first I was sitting with my thoughts like 'That's crazy.....there's no way an eight year old should know about any of this' and was just going to shrug it off and go about my day. But, since we have been basically at home for the past six months, I have begun to go on Twitter and social media a lot more to pass along the time and to try and keep up with the latest news....and rumors. I have found my group of people that I look forward to see their tweets and I even engage from time to time. Ok, so I have been 'tweeting' a lot, but most of the time, nobody pays attention or I have one or two people that always writes back if I '@' them or retweet anything funny or interesting. So I thought to myself 'That exchange I just had with Trey was kinda sad/shocking and I'm going to tweet out the exchange to let people know that our kids definitely are being effected and are paying attention.' So I tweeted out that tweet that you see at the top of this page and put my phone down for a little while to take a shower (so I thought)..... Little did I know......
I brought my phone with me in the bathroom and was about to run the water when I saw a twitter notification icon pop up. It was Aarum. She's one of the people that actually tweets back to me when I 'tweet' her. She put a GIF of Oprah crying and mentioned that man....that's pretty sad. So while I was responding to her, I got like 10 (I'm not kidding) retweets and comments. So, if you know me, I try to keep up and engage with people who retweet or '@' me because I know how it feels to get ignored on there. So while I start responding to each one, 20, then 30 then 100 (again....I'm not kidding) retweets with comments happen. Now, my twitter numbers at this point are: I followed around 350 people and was being followed by about the same amount. So to get HUNDREDS of retweet is overwhelming! Especially for a tweeter like me that isn't even set up with a blue check! So the 'retweet' notification never went away from my phone and then I read a few people fighting over my comments because a few people think that I am lying to get attention (which.....uh....why would I do that?) and that eight year olds don't talk like that and are not that observant (again....uhhhh.....how you met these 2020 eight year olds? They DEFINITELY talk like that....especially Mr. Trey) and people coming to my defense saying that eight year old black kids in particular know about the police and Covid because that's all that's on TV right now (yep). So, I quickly mute the tweet, but I still get a notification when the tweet was being retweeted.
You see those numbers from above? That's pure insanity off of ONE tweet! I have never even heard of the Facebook group 'Feminist News', but I am absolutely honored to be featured on there. I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't curious to see if any celebs saw it and retweeted it, but at this point it would be impossible to find out if that happened without having to read though 60,000 plus comments and retweets with comments. I guess that was my chance to pitch this blog or anything else I wanted to give attention to. I just wish I had a podcast or something. Or maybe I should have asked for something free. Isn't that how people on Twitter/online do it? Anyway, yes, the numbers you see on the tweet were just the screenshot I took to include it on this post, they are likely higher now. I've had people from my high school follow me on Twitter. People that I haven't thought about for 20 years! That's the other byproduct of this viral tweet. I have gained around 300 new followers (and counting) and most of them are very Pro-Democratic twitter account. I guess they looked through my profile and saw that I....um....tend to not agree with any of what our current 'President' says/does (and that's putting it lightly). Ayren and I had a quick discussion on why she thinks this particular tweet took off and she said 'Its what people have been thinking lately, but they haven't really been able to put it into words. This short thought/scenario perfectly sums up people and kids mindset right now. A good guy/actor passed away and our minds immediately go to a place that this country put us in currently'. I have to agree. This is truly a be careful what you wish for situation because there would be plenty of days where I would wish I had a lot of people following me on Twitter and engaging with me as soon as I tweet. I remember one of the last times I went (so I thought...) sort of viral was when I tweeted to Matthew Berry about a fantasy football question and he actually answered with 'Wow, that's a great question.....' I got like 15 IMMEDIATE tweets from people like 'How did you get him to answer you?' 'Are you his personal friend?', etc. He once shared on his podcast that he usually gets over 200 responses to each of his tweets.....that's.....crazy!
I'm not sure when this will die down.....and it will....but its been a whole weekend and the tweet is still living and breathing! I am still waiting on the 'I've looked through your Twitter TL and THIS is what I found!' tweet. I really appreciate all of the people who reached out to mainly check on Trey (he's fine.....I'm taking it harder than he is) and for people that I haven't seen or talked to in a long time (shout out to my bro Amos in Minnesota!). I have to say, I felt pretty important for a weekend and its nice, I have to admit. I just hope I don't do or say anything to disappoint my new friends on Twitter!
I do want to link to my previous post on Chadwick and how much the Black Panther movie meant to me and my family. I mention how Chadwick really embodied T'Challa/Black Panther and for those two plus hours in the theater, he was everyone's king. You can read it here: A Fathers Glow - Black Panther.