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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Teaching ‘Black Panther’

Black Panther, a huge box office hit, is a “hit with teachers” too, reports Brenda Iasevoli in Ed Week.

Teachers are building lessons based on the film, set in the super hi-tech, uncolonized African nation of Wakanda, where T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) inherits the fictitious kingdom upon the death of his father only to be challenged by a Wakandan exile, Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan).

The Black Panther Challenge, which is raising money to buy Black Panther tickets for black children, has created a site with resources for parents and K-12 teachers.

A Chicago middle-school teacher created the Wakanda Curriculum to explore the movie’s themes, such as colonialism, African history and Afrofuturism, writes Lilly Workneh on Blavity. Tess Raser is offering the curriculum for free.

Black Panther’s sister, Princess Shuri, is a technical genius.

Afrofuturism — I had to look it up — blends “sci fi with African pride,” writes Jamie Broadnax.

Raser’s sixth-graders already had been studying Africa’s geography and history. She sees the super-hero movie as a way spark discussions about “black feminism, colonialism effects and slavery’s effects, the tensions and relationships amongst black people across the diaspora, black elitism, the complexities of characters and what defines a villain, what does it mean to be a revolutionary.”

Comic-book heroes don’t do much for me. I thought Wonder Woman, which others found inspiring and empowering, was silly. I think super-powers are boring. Obviously, I’m not the intended audience of these movies.

Kamyra Brown, a 10-year-old Delaware girl, said she wanted to see “a movie about black heroes,” reports the Charlotte Observer. “So everybody can see that you can do whatever you want if you are black.”

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