Wakanda heads to the Smithsonian as Black Panther items set for display at the African-American Museum


The Smithsonian is getting a special collection of Black Panther items to display at the National Museum of African American History and Culture this fall.

Black Panther fans, it is time to show your Wakanda pride, as the Smithsonian is getting a very special exhibit for the National Museum of African American History and Culture. A press release from the Smithsonian revealed visitors of the museum get to see the hero’s iconic costume in person. The exhibit will also feature two pages of the spec script for the film, the actual shooting script which has been signed by the director and producers, and 24 behind-the-scenes production photographs.

This exhibit is not a permanent addition to the Smithsonian’s African American Museum at this time. Instead, it will be on display during the African American Film Festival, which is scheduled for October 24 through the 27th, according to SyFy Wire.

There are currently no plans for this to be a permanent display at the museum. However, the Smithsonian did say it will consider a more permanent exhibit depending on the public’s response. (Let’s just hope Killmonger doesn’t show up to ruin things.)

The Black Panther exhibit comes at a perfect time, as this is the very first year that the Smithsonian is hosting an African American film festival. The museum even called attention to the relevance of the movie and its story in its press release.

As the museum explained, not only is the Black Panther the first superhero of African descent to be a part of mainstream media via the comics, but they also feel that “Black Panther illustrates the progression of blacks in film, an industry that in the past has overlooked blacks.”

The Black Panther origins actually stem from the later part of the1960s, at a time when the United States was at the height of the civil rights movement. Within the pages of the comics, and even in the movie itself, the theme of rights and ideology were heavily leaned on in telling these characters’ stories.

Much like the Smithsonian looks to provide its visitors with a “fuller story of black culture and identity,” within the world of Wakanda, the fight between T’Challa and Killmonger revolved around identity and global presence.

Black Panther has become both a champion at the box office and what many consider to be a “landmark piece of black cinema.” This was a mainstream movie based on a comic book superhero that featured an almost entirely black cast. Due to that, the film has made a true impact on the entertainment industry and society.

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There is much to be said for the Smithsonian recognizing just how much of an impact Black Panther has had, not only as a series of comics but also as a major motion picture. The film adaptation was always going to be meaningful and important in terms of representation. Having an exhibit dedicated to this character and the movie itself is proof that even the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture can appreciate what Wakanda and Black Panther mean to people.