Wakandacon Celebrates 'Black Panther' — And The Black Nerd — In Convention Debut

Paula Rogo Aug, 05, 2018

The inaugural Wakandacon convention took place in Chicago this weekend, and it successfully brought together Black nerds as well as fans of the Marvel comic book and blockbuster film Black Panther!

According to the Chicago Tribune, Wakandacon is a new convention “where folks can be a nerd about pop culture, gaming, tech, womanhood, politics, and Blackness — a space for people of all types to come together, educate each other, and support one another.” And even more importantly, it celebrates all things Black Panther.

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“We’re celebrating black people, we are looking toward our future, we are asking people how can we make Wakanda real,” co-founder Ali Barthwell told ABC7 in Chicago.

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One thing that is very clear after attending the first ever #WakandaCon in Chicago: Black Panther is more than a movie—it's a movement. Shout out to everyone involved! 1) Beautiful face painting by @nekotheartist 2) One of a ton of great Killmonger cosplays 3) @wakandacon2018 co-founder Ali Barthwell and freaking @erikaalexanderthegreat 4) #WakandaForever 5) I can’t remember the name of this game, but it is definitely not Spades 6) It’s challenge day and Killmonger’s very clearly outnumbered 7) @vanjones68 fighting actual Jabari warrior @marquillis33 8) Erik’s still mad that he found his daddy with panther claws in his chest 9) More from Neko 10) King's Dead 💀 #BlackPanther

A post shared by Baraka Kaseko (@bkaseko) on

Alongside her other siblings and co-founders David and Matt, Barthwell built the convention based on seven Wakanda tenets: creativity, education, technology, outreach, Afro-Futurism, prosperity, and feminism.

“One thing that we’re really proud of is our philosophy behind the event,” David Barthwell told the Tribune. “We found it has really resonated with people … the seven areas of focus are based off of themes that we identified within the film and we used those areas to guide how we developed the programming, how we developed the events and what sorts of things that we wanted to feature.”

These events included an incredible cosplay competition, panels on women in STEM, a filmmaking workshop and even A Jabari Stunt workshop. Also, the likes of CNN’s Van Jones and Erika Alexander of Living Single fame were seen in the convention halls.

Check out some the reviews from those who attended: