The upcoming Marvel Studios’ Black Panther: Dreams of Wakanda book will be released on September 6. The book will explore the cultural impact of the Black Panther movie and will feature commentary on a variety of topics, from fashion to representation, from the creators, writers, and comic legends behind the story.
Along with beautiful original art illustrations, an example of the content in the book includes input from costume designer Ruth E. Carter, who takes readers through her Afrofuturistic designs. Writer Tre Johnson talks about the writing process and metaphoric qualities of vibranium. Author Yona Harvey’s commentary deals with the film’s reception and impact on audiences across the African diaspora. Last but not least, journalist Hannah Giorgis discusses Black Panther’s soundtrack and how it fits into the sonic portraits of Blackness overall.
Marvel’s Black Panther was the first of its kind to feature a superhero protagonist of African descent. The film, based on the comics of the same name, follows T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), or Black Panther, who takes on the duty of King of Wakanda after his father dies. However, things take a turn as his cousin N’Jadaka (Micheal B. Jordan), or Killmonger, challenges T’Challa for the crown with the intention to change the isolationist principles that Wakanda has held for generations and with the country’s technological advances, begin a global revolution.
The film brought a refreshing uniqueness to the usual superhero vs. villain stories of previous Marvel films as each character had grey areas of morality. The aesthetics and designs of the characters were inspired by the traditional looks of various tribes and cultures in Africa. It showed that audiences were interested in more than the usual white protagonist and that people of color have a place in the Marvel Universe.
Disney also has its own event planned in celebration of Dreams of Wakanda’s release. The company has partnered with Penguin Random House to donate books to First Book and Books for Africa. The total value Disney plans to donate to First Book totals approximately $1M – not a bad gain for a great cause! For those who aren’t familiar with the organization, First Book is the leading nonprofit organization that aids in educational equity, basic needs, and more, in underserved communities.
Penguin Random House is donating some of their published titles to Books for Africa; the donation will total approximately $100K – again, not a bad gain for a great cause. Books for Africa was founded to end the book famine in Africa, and its sole mission is to collect, sort, and ship books, computers, and other educational resources to Africa.
If you are a fan of Marvel and Black Panther, you might want to consider putting Dreams of Wakanda on your to-read list. The book is currently available for preorder on Penguin’s website and will be released on September 6. Check out the cover of the book below: