Top 10 Resources for Teaching Black Panther+ Afro-futurism

  • Wakanda Curriculum: Full lesson plan / companion to Black Panther
    Features historical content, links to other great articles, comprehension and reflection questions. Brings together music, film, and reading to activate and engage the class. Questions and activities for before, during, and after viewing the movie.(This resource stands on its own, since it’s a fully-developed set of lesson plans.)
  • Article: Afrofuturism: decolonizing the imagination
    This is a great overview that introduces the themes of afro-futurism and gives some great examples. It looks at the different ways colonialism has seeped into our collective imagination, and the ways that afro-futurism has sought and continues to seek to upend those narratives.
  • Podcast: LeVar Burton Reads –Tobias Buckell’s “The Galactic Tourist Industrial Complex”
    This is the story of an alien death in Manhattan, and the taxi driver who has to put up with all of it. It is a clear commentary on the tourism industry and colonialism, and Burton adds his own insightful notes before and after reading the story. This could work great as a homework/flipped classroom exercise, or it could be a fun new way to engage (and leave a little cliffhanger) during class time.
  • Article from TIME Magazine: The Women who Inspired Black Panther
    This article introduces the warrior women that inspired the excellent female roles in Black Panther. It’s a great jumping-off point for talking about the role of gender in afro-futurism, and the language of the article is appropriate for 10th-12thgrade.
  • Book: The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
    This is an exciting novel that looks at the roles of race and religion in terms of science fiction. It’s an excellent resource for engaging students and exploring how perspective in story-telling makes all of the difference in a piece of literature’s message.
  • Article and Video: Languages in Wakanda
    This article and video do a great job of explaining the different languages that went into Black Panther. It’s a great way to start aconversation about the importance of language and “the mother tongue” in the face of colonialism and globalism.
  • Essay: “Metropolis Meets Afrofuturism: The Genius of Janelle Monae”
    Part of a larger (illustrated!) work that looks at unfinished works of afro-futurism. This is a great guide for listening to Janelle Monae’s album “Metropolis,” or pulling in a few of the music videos off the album. Itaddresses the major themes of afro-futurism and sets students up to identify and explain these themes on their own, too.

  • The Black Panther Viewing Guide
    This is a great article that goes briefly through lots of different themes presented in both the Black Panther comic books and the movie. It has tons of great guiding questions that will spark lively classroom discussions. These questions can be used before, during, and after watching the film.
  • Online Exhibition: University of Chicago’s “Sounds from Tomorrow’s World”
    This online exhibition gives a lot of information and insight about Sun Ra, the father of the afro-futurist music movement. It features some of his notes and writings, as well as links to recordings of his music. A great way to dive into lyrics, and to see how far the afro-futurism has come in terms of both music and lyrics.
  • Article: Behind the Scenes of Black Panther’s Afrofuturism
    This article looks past the words of the story and explores the visual and technological elements of the film. It introduces students to the themes of afro-futurism as they are presented in the design of the film, not just in the story-telling itself.