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Pasco-Hernando State College professors bring 'Black Panther' to the classroom

Posted at 4:49 PM, Feb 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-20 17:57:58-05

WESLEY CHAPEL, Fla. — Students at Pasco-Hernando State College came to a conference room at the Porter Campus on Wednesday afternoon to learn about history, technology and social justice. But, there’s no text book for the lesson.

Instead, professors are using the 2018 Marvel movie "Black Panther" as a guide.

“All my friends were talking about it when it came out. I saw it like three times in theaters because of how much I liked it. Then I bought the movie,” said student Chris Reid.

The presentation is called Wakanda Forever.

“There’s a line in the movie where King T’Challa as the Black Panther talks about how we must right these wrongs. And I think what makes this movie stand out, it’s a conversation how we can right the wrongs whether we are in America or Africa,” said PHSC professor Dr. Davina Jones.

The professors talked about how Black Panther narrates change and morality in the comic world, but also society.

“There are discussions built in to the story about American history. The history of white and black. The history of Africans and African-Americans. That’s all interwoven into this story," said Jones.

The New York Times calls the film “a defining moment for Black America.”

“It gives people something on the big screen they can relate to. They can see themselves which is something that’s been lacking in the super hero genre for years and years, in Hollywood overall,” said associate professor Joseph Ward.

Black Panther could reach yet another level of success on Sunday.

It’s is one of the nominees for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards.

“I think it has a great chance. There’s a lot of support in the popular vote. And in the academy as well. So I’d be not surprised at all if it won,” said Ward.