DBM Episode 53: Black Grief, Ritual & Wakanda Forever

Michele Foss, The TV Doctor, Black Grief, Ritual, Wakanda Forever




Dear Mama,

There are two things that happen to everyone in this life that we don’t talk about – birth and death –  both can challenge and transform everything we believe in. They can be messy and uncomfortable roads to travel and sometimes art can help us through.  In Black Panther Ryan Coogler proved he is a master at guiding us through uncomfortable conversations & in this episode we are joined by one of our faves Michele Foss of The TV Doctor Podcast to talk about how Coogler guides us through grief in Wakanda Forever. We can’t think of a better way to kick off Women’s History Month than talking about a film held together by Black women & centers the mother daughter relationship.  May we never forget and ALWAYS celebrate their work.  In this episode we’re talking: 

👉🏾The impact of Black grief

👉🏾The return of Kilmonger in that white sweater with NO SHIRT

👉🏾What surprised us 

👉🏾A new film rating system based on Angela Bassett  


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Mac & Cheese:

Dr. Michele Foss (she/her) challenges us all to reconsider our relationship with television. She is the creator, producer, and host of The TV Doctor (https://www.thetvdoc.com/), a podcast in which she uses her training, instinct, and empathy to “prescribe” the very best TV show to heal your emotional ailments. When she’s not “making the rounds” as a speaker and podcaster, she is Professor of Rhetoric and Media at Sacramento State University, where she teaches classes including Television Criticism, Rhetoric and Social Influence, and Media Aesthetics. You should feel free to greet her with the Vulcan salute or a few words of Klingon; she is also fluent in RuPaul’s Drag Race-isms and lyrics from ‘80s music. She is an advocate for social justice, an activist for anti-racism, and a firm believer in putting “DONE” items on your “TO-DO” list, just for the pleasure of crossing them off. Show Michele some love and follow her and her podcast on IG: @thecuriouscaseofmfoss  @theteeveephd 

  • Segment Highlights
    • [00:23:29] “Almost immediately after we lost Chadwick Bozeman people, I’m gonna say outside of our community, people who are just part of the larger Marvel community almost immediately started calling for, well, who’s gonna be the next Black Panther? And you need to recast to T’Challa and the fact that Ryan Coogler, whatever influence he had in that process, the fact that he was like, under no.” – Michele Foss
    • [00:24:48] These stories that we are talking about, the emotions behind them are real. It’s a fun film. We have fun in it. It’s not all grief start to finish, but if you don’t feel the connection to Chadwick Bozeman, you didn’t watch that film.” –Michele Foss
    • [00:26:20] I knew the layers of blackness can best come out when we are sitting in front of one of our priests and Ryan Coogeler was a priest. Ryan Coogler performed ritual.” –Thea Monyee
    • [00:28:07] “They alchemized our collective grief. Yeah. And they used it to fuel this ritual. We all got to heal our grief that a lot of us were still sitting in from the loss of chat with Bozeman.And he demonstrated that on top of grief we, on top of personal grief, the other things on top of all the other layers. He walked us through the ritual of it with some reality that other things will still be coming at you while you’re doing this.  That you’re still gonna have to be shifting roles and shifting people and navigating things. But you don’t have to sacrifice your process.” –Thea Monyee:
    • [00:30:22] “Artists who are not just artists. Artists who are priests, who are shaman, who understand that the medium cannot define the medicine.” -Thea Monyee
    • [00:35:22] “I’m glad that the loss of Chadwick Bozeman or the loss of giah wasn’t buried under action.” -Crystal Tennille Irby
    • [00:41:13] “Outta all the M C U Black Panthers. The only place where you see them read white people for filth on a regular basis in their colonizer energy.” -Thea Monyee
    • [00:45:35] “Others would’ve chosen to exploit our grief. And, and it was used as like fertilizer, soil to grow something with this.” – Thea Monyee
    • [01:02:05] “I feel like anytime Angela Bassett is going to die, get shot, push in the face, whatever. I’m gonna need a warning. I’m gonna need that included in the rating.” -Crystal Tennille Irby
    • [01:06:36] “My biggest surprise is that a man wrote this.” – Crystal Tennille Irby
    • [01:15:47] “Our evolution is not going to come through the breaking of our backs, but through the softening of our jaws.” -Thea Monyee
  • Full Episode Transcript
  • Episodes Mentioned & Other Relevant Links

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