Our favorite read this weekend was an article in the Sunday New York Times Travel section about the delightful topic of what it would be like to take a vacation in Wakanda. The paper solicited suggestions from its readers, who responded with some absolutely enchanting ideas: they’d take trips to the Warrior Falls, listen to griots and poets in the marketplace, visit the rhino farm, and observe the young women training to serve in the Dora Milaje. The clear consensus was that it would be a dream journey to a peaceful, dynamic, cerebral society free of racial tension and filled with intelligent, self-governing black people who had no legacy of oppression. A lovely dream, indeed. Which made us think: what happened to all the abortive attempts to create a real-world community like the fictional Wakanda here in America?
We love Black Panther, and here at Dandelion Chandelier we’re a bit Wakanda-obsessed at the moment. If you’re similarly afflicted, there are many more layers to explore in this cinematic universe.
Did you get the inside jokes about race in the film Black Panther? They were all there, lying in plain sight for those of us who grew up black in certain decades and certain kinds of households. As I watched Black Panther with my family on its debut weekend, I found myself making eye contact and laughing aloud with my wife and kids at times during the movie that some of my fellow movie-goers didn’t quite seem to get. It’s the same feeling I have when I watch the TV show Black-ish – with its upscale family of five children who attend private school, and whose parents are professionals. It’s so spot-on with the wry humor that lives in every striving black family that I still can’t believe America has embraced the show so enthusiastically. Like all great entertainment, both of these properties exist on multiple levels – and it feels as if some of the jokes were written just for us: for the members of the black community.
The new year has kicked off in the luxury sphere with a startling series of heartfelt and provocative moves by some leading brands to stay woke. Recently, we found three examples that moved us to stop and take note. We’re sure there are more, but these three caused us to reflect on what might be a new reality: woke luxury. Purveyors of luxury products and experiences can potentially play a transformational role in forging genuine connections between disparate communities, celebrating and encouraging human courage and decency, and ultimately helping to foster social justice in the world — if they choose to engage in actions that are viscerally moving, even shocking. Or just plain generous.
How has social media changed the way we celebrate New Year’s Eve? Rather profoundly, it seems. Old acquaintance may actually be forgot and never brought to mind; old-school auld lang syne may be left in the dust – ignominiously swept up with the other detritus of the New Year’s Eve bash, and tossed away like used confetti. There’s a whole new way to ring in the new year, enabled by youthful energy and social media. Forget about a boring analog list of hand-written or spoken New Year’s resolutions, counting backwards from 10 and singing that song that no one knows the lyrics to anyway. At Dandelion Chandelier, our Head of Research investigated how our far-flung correspondents and their friends closed out 2017 and welcomed the New Year (thanks, girl!) Turns out there are at least 10 modern ways to clear the air before the start of a new year, honor the highlights of the passing year, and give a shout-out to the people who made a difference in our lives in the past 12 months.