Ryan Coogler is advocating everyone include Africa on their travel bucket list.
The Black Panther director was at the BET Awards on Sunday to accept the award for Best Movie, alongside Michael B. Jordan and gave the crowd a message they wouldn’t forget.
“If you can travel to Africa, go,” he said at the end of his speech. “And if you can’t go, teach your children about Patrice Lumumba, Jomo Kenyatta, and all the amazing Africans that we attach to still as African-Americans here today.”
To prepare for his role to direct Black Panther, Coogler made sure he visited the continent to better understand the essence and feel of the place. He told Empire Magazine that he spent weeks traveling through South Africa by himself to gain a better sense of the people he was telling a story about.
“None of my family ever had the opportunity to go [to Africa], “he said. “So it was almost like a mythical place to us—to a lot of us, as African Americans. And that was a very big deal for me to be able to tell this story. I frankly wasn’t qualified to do it just because I look like this.”
Coogler’s Black Panther shattered expectation and box office numbers when it was released earlier this year. The movie crossed the $1 billion mark at the global box office in just 26 days, according to Variety.