I didn’t have Black Barbies when I was growing up, because there weren’t any — I had Valerie from Josie and the Pussycats as age appropriate media representation — a smart brown-skinned girl for a smart brown-skinned girl.

Now, because I’m a nerd and possibly a stage 1 hoarder, I also have Barbies and dolls in the likenesses of Ava DuVernay, Nichelle Nichols, Katherine Johnson, Rosa Parks, Oprah, Shuri, Okoye (I wanted to be a member of the Dora Milaje), Michonne, Luke Cage, Storm… and of course, Black Panther… as talismans that inspire me to dream, play, create, be strong and stand in my power.

Representation is valuable for kids of all ages. I saw Black Panther movie three times in theaters on opening weekend, and won’t soon forget the energy and joy that our community felt in the moment. It was a beautiful time.

He was more than a Marvel superhero, a Supreme Court Justice, a baseball barrier breaker or a legendary rock & roll icon…, but we thank you Chadwick Boseman for representing the best of the best for all of us. 🖤✊🏽

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