Black Panther has not only not smashed box office records – including that for the highest-grossing film by a black director – but the Marvel film has now also inspired its own convention, Wakandacon (what else?).
The inaugural three-day fan event took place in Chicago at the weekend to celebrate Afrofuturism, black representation and excellence in film, STEM, tech, fine art and media. And, according to its website, Wakandacon is “an inclusive place where you can be a nerd about anything – pop culture, gaming, tech, womanhood, politics, or your own beautiful Blackness.”
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And yes, that involved plenty of cosplay…
However, Wakandacon wasn’t your average fancon. In addition to the panels, booths, costumes and a workshop from Black Panther stuntman Mark Willis, the event showcased numerous outreach programmes. This included The Shuri Project, which teaches black girls ages 8-12 how to create their own websites and develop public speaking skills.
And hopefully this won’t be a one-off, with convention co-founder Ali Barthwell telling the Chicago Sun-Times they’re aiming to throw a second Wakandacon next year and “continue to create spaces for black creatives.”
Could it really be Wakanda forever?