Atlanta Wakanda: Images Matter

Photo by Asiko

Seeing is believing.

During the Atlanta premiere of the highly-anticipated film Black Panther, I observed two black nine-year old boys watching the film in awe. They sat on the edge of their seats, eyes wide with excitement, nearly the entire time. Instantly, they found a connection with the main character “T’Challa,” the king of Wakanda. The boys have never seen a superhero on the big screen who looks just like them, playing a leading role, serving as a prominent figure, and assuming the responsibility of watching over his family and an entire nation of brown people.

Some people say this is just another fictional superhero film, but it has become reality to these two nine-year olds, and so many others. From an image alone, suddenly a child carries hope in their heart, and a dream is ignited in their mind. It’s the equivalent to having faith as small as a mustard seed, just one spark (no matter the size), burning inside of an adolescent has the ability to light up the whole world.

James “Jay” Bailey, founder of the Phoenix Leadership Foundation, was inspired by “T’Challa’s” story and decided to localize the Black Panther experience. On Tuesday, February 20, Bailey and several others will make history by igniting hope inside of the hearts and minds of 700 metro Atlanta high school students when they visit #AtlantaWakanda.

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