At the end of April, I turned twenty-five and I decided to throw myself a Black Panther themed birthday brunch. It’s no secret that Black Panther is my favorite movie released so far this year, and I want everyone to know it’s so much more than just a movie. It is the representation a lot of POC have been waiting their whole lives for. I have two young nieces that mean the world to me, and one of them has a darker complexion than the other.
I remember when my niece (the one with the darker complexion) was about five or six years old, she turned to me and said, “Nubi… I wish I had lighter skin like you and Grandma.” Never has a phrase shattered my heart into a million pieces like that one did. My niece was used to light skin being glorified in the media, and a lack of women with dark skin being portrayed as beautiful. Black Panther not only celebrates the beauty in a wide range of POC complexions, it celebrates the strength of women. Just look at Okoye and the Dora Milaje who protect King T’Challa, and Princess Shuri who creates the best tools in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I decided to have a small brunch with five to six of my closest friends and I wanted the theme to be done tastefully, as it wasn’t a child’s birthday party. So here’s a breakdown of what I did in case you want to have your own superhero themed birthday brunch 😉
Transporting my guests to Wakanda via decorations
I chose black, gold, silver, purple, and ice blue as the main colors for my brunch. The black and silver are seen in T’Challa’s Black Panther suits and necklace, and the gold was chosen for Killmonger as the King/Black Panther. The purple is for the Heart-Shaped Herb and the ice blue represents vibranium. Vibranium is Wakanda’s most valuable resource, a metal that is used to power their tech.
I wanted to focus most on the table setting since the food was the most important aspect of my brunch. I scattered white peonies and calla lilies across the table. The calla lilies are the closest flowers I could find to the fictional Heart-Shaped Herb, and they’re originally from Africa. The food spread sat on top of a burlap table runner doused in custom confetti from The Confetti Bar. I also made some Black Panther-inspired photo edits of myself and quotes to print and lay across the table. The table setting itself was all gold plasticware and paper plates from Target, on top of a faux Monstera leaf spray painted gold.
On the walls were a black tinsel photo background with a custom ‘Wakanda Forever!’ sign for Instax photos and a hanging tinsel garland with alternating black and gold tinsel bunches. I also purchased a set of photo props from Etsy to use at the photo wall.
What do Wakandans eat?
The toughest part of planning my brunch was getting the food right. The only time food is addressed in the movie is the joke M’Baku makes about feeding Agent Ross to his children – the Jabari tribe is vegetarian. I worked with Terrence of Black Apron Crew to come up with a vegetarian menu; I knew I wanted some type of toast and some type of egg dish. Here’s what ended up being on the menu:
As for dessert, I have a major sweet tooth, so there were plenty of options. I had a vibranium-inspired cake that was chocolate on the inside, Black Panther-inspired chocolate chip cookies, and edible vibranium (rock candy). Other than water, I made a punch called ‘The Killmonger’, made of vodka, frozen mixed berries, Sprite, and grenadine.
With all of my decorations and food, the only thing left to do was find a soundtrack playlist on Spotify that had a solid mix of the instrumental soundtrack and the Kendrick Lamar soundtrack. The brunch was a hit! I may or may not be keeping all of my decorations in case I need to host another Black Panther-inspired event soon… Wakanda Forever!