Photo by Gage Skidmore.
Black Panther actress Letitia Wright is starting some great conversations.
“I’m coming up to completing five years of being a Christian,” Wright says. “It’s been so many different things. It’s a relationship I’m building with the Lord.”
Wright said that she “knew I wasn’t living a life fulfilled” five years ago, but didn’t know what to do about it. “I didn’t know that missing puzzle was Jesus,” she says. “I didn’t want anything to do with Jesus, actually. Especially as a young Black person, you think, “Oh man, it’s a white guy. I don’t want to worship that.”
But after seeing a few friends turn their lives around after becoming Christians, Wright started giving Jesus a second thought. She said that observing her friends’ faith helped her realize, “That’s what my life was meant to look like. That’s what my spirit is meant to look like.” She says a friend contacted Wright when she was at her “lowest place” and Wright made a deal with herself.
“I said, ‘I’ll try Jesus for a year. See what happens,’” Wright says, and then she smiles and shrugs.
“I’m still here and I’m not going back.”
And she’s not alone. Her father, who moved to London from Guyana with the family when Letitia was seven years old, had long shared his daughter’s distaste for “white Jesus,” but has recently become a Christian himself. Wright says that growing in “maturity and love” has helped her deal with some of her earlier misgivings, including realizing that, far from being white, Jesus would have had “some beautiful melanin in there.”
“Regardless of what his skin color was — not that it doesn’t matter. It does, because it’s part of his identity and it’s a part of who he was when he was here with us — he’s bigger than just what his hair looked like, or his skin looked like,” she says. “It was about his heart. It’s about what he did for us here on earth and how real he is and how real the Spirit of God is. That means more to me than anything.”