Black women warriors in spotlight in Black Panther

Photo credit: Sydne Vigille



There is no doubt the Black Panther movie has dropped an inspirational bombshell on the black community. Not only did the movie ignite a light in black children, but in the process it has captured different moments in history.

An important piece of African history was the women warriors called the Dora Milaje, which means the “adored ones,” according to Time magazine.

The Dora Milaje was a representation of the Dahomey amazons, according to the Smithsonian magazine. In 17th century West Africa, they were a fearsome group of women soldiers.

In 1861, a missionary by the name of Francesco Borghero was summoned to Abomey, which was then the capital of the West African state of Dahomey,  by King Glele to view the warriors’ skills.

 Borghero recorded his experience in his journal. He gave detailed explanations of the fighting strategies the women warriors possessed.

Berghero described the women as fearsome and brutal; they walked around barefoot and their only weapons wear clubs and knives. Some of the women were known as “reapers” and their choice of weaponry were foot-long straight razors.

 Their strategy for a kill was described as silent and deadly. Their enemies never saw them coming.

In the movie, the Dora Milaje were loyal to the king and would fight to the death for the royal family.

This may be where loyalty black women are known for originated. As black women, we are known to have a fighting spirit, a quick tongue, a harsh blow and loyalty to our family, friends and partners. The Dahomey amazons are the embodiment of the modern black women.

After watching the Dora Milaje in action, it can be said that we are descendants of the Dahomey amazons. Because the month of March is for celebrating women in history, this is a piece of history that is rarely spoken about but one that deserves to be in the spotlight.

 Women have always been perceived as weak and docile and in need of a man’s protection. Black Panther has made it clear that we can hold our own and look flawless in the process.