Soul 2 Soul

We need a win!

It was early March, but already 2020 was off to a rough start. We lost Kobe and Gigi. We were on our first of what was to be many adventures this year. We returned home from our cruise in February only to hear about rumblings of ships being quarantined.

Come on, Pixar, we need a win!

Wait a minute, I thought this was a black lead film. What are these blue figures? Ok, I’m a little sensitive these days. That’s what almost 4yrs of “M.A.G.A.” does to a person. Let me calm down and watch the trailer…Pixar has given my family and me so much, the least I can do is be objective. Woosah, there he is, Joe Gardner. He’s giving me Courtney B. Vance vibes, but that’s Jamie Fox’s voice. So far, so good…wait, did he just fall into a manhole?

A manhole? A tadpole, then a manhole? Yes, I said it! We supported Princess Tiana, rallied around the representation, although we only got a slither of a princess. All of the others were surrounded by animals. They didn’t have to become one. Make this about the magic that is us. We need our Coco, our cultural celebration.

We need a win!!

Let me not overreact. I’ve spent enough time labeled as “the angry black woman” this is Disney, my safe space. Problematic at times, yes, but I can’t count the number of times I’ve escaped into the fairytale. Enters 22, voiced by Tina Fey. In my mind, I read it as Tina “Rey” in Finn’s voice. Previews can be misleading; after all, team A113 knows…We need a win!

I’ll put a pin in it because apparently, stockpiling toilet paper has become a thing. By the time it hits theaters in the summer, all will be right with the world. Well, life happens while we’re making plans. The world literally falls apart, and instead of becoming unified, somehow, we are still being killed for being black. We are quarantined as the COVID numbers go up, and my faith in humanity goes down. Movie theaters are closed, and Disney Plus has become a shimmer of light in the darkness that is 2020. We sing to Hamilton and cheer while watching Black is King.

We needed this win!!!

Summer becomes fall, and Soul, the movie that I thought was tabled as were so many others, reappears. I watch the trailer, same prescription but with a new set of eyes(I need to make the appointment but the way my pandemic anxiety is set up.) Not even sure how but I now see not a blue blob, but I see Joe. I can’t bear to see another black man die in the street, yet this time when I watch the fall, I don’t see death. I see growth, a seed being planted. (Don’t act like I’m the only one that became a plant parent this year.)The words sound different. I hear Joe crystal clear when he asked, “What makes you…you?” What once looked like a dark abyss with a blue trail is now bright. The blue vibrates off of the screen, giving me marigold Coco vibes. “Remember me?” the people uprooted from their homes only to be told, “Go back to where you came from.” Ha, if only we knew where that was. All this time, we just wanted the same starting point free of hurdles.

What if this isn’t our game to win?

Like many, I have spent this entire time begging for a win. What is the prize even? If the behavior I’ve seen over the years is considered civilized, I like Megan, would rather be a “savage.” What if, by virtue of being our authentic selves, we already won?

What makes you, you…and me, me, makes the collective US. Have you seen US? We are gods among men. When we see each other, we don’t see the coifed styles that hide our gravity-defining locs. We don’t hear the strained dialect or all the other survival tactics we have had to adapt. We look past all of that and see each other’s Souls. A soul that is free of these pressures. We see not the battle scars but the victories in each other’s eyes…without so much as a word, we emit love to one another.

We already won because we are One.

So am I looking forward to Soul, yes? Big screen (Let’s face it, Disney Plus = Big Screen.) representation of us to the masses, that’s cool. I don’t need it to do any more than that. I’ve learned the real souls that matter is ours. I will continue to show up for us every day, knowing you will do the same. Soul 2 Soul, we’ve already won.

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