Wakandacon is August 3, 4, and 5, 2018, in Chicago, IL. Chicago has a long history of hosting great conventions, but Wakandacon 2018 is something new.
Wakandacon advertises itself as “a new kind of cultural event.” The convention is not just to celebrate Black Panther, one of the MCU’s most successful movies, and the comic books. Wakandacon delves into Afrofuturism and modern pop culture, from an African-American viewpoint.
Wakandacon is where you can be a nerd about anything – pop culture, gaming, tech, womanhood, politics, or your own beautiful Blackness. We are creating a space for people of all types to come together, educate each other, and celebrate all of our passions. It’s an event where we can dress up, dance, connect, support each other, and celebrate the entire diaspora looking past the present and into our future. While our event is targeted towards establishing a positive and supportive space for Black people, Wakandacon is inclusive and all are welcome to come celebrate together.
As my esteemed colleague Thaddeus Howze wrote in the article “What does the Black Panther mean to you?” for the website Medium: “I am not the only person seeking Wakanda.”
Wakanda says we exist in a future which is wonderfully, beautifully, intelligently, optimistically Black. Yes, this is what Wakanda means to me.
Wakandacon is for all the fans, nerds, geeks, and dreamers who are seeking Wakanda. There will be art and poetry, costumes and music, and panels on a variety of subjects from Black sisterhood to STEM careers to “T’Challa’s pacifism versus Killmonger’s combativeness: a modern-day MLK versus Malcolm X—but with superpowers.”
Actor/stuntman Mark Willis, from Oak Park, IL, will be at the con to discuss the filming of Black Panther. He played a Jabari warrior. He will also give a workshop on stunt and fight choreography on Friday evening. Willis has appeared in Empire, Sense8, and Superfreaks.
Billy Tuggle, the president of the Chicago Four Star Poetry Club, will host a panel on writing and Afrofuturism.
Billy Almon, a Disney Imagineer, will host a panel called “Black Panther and Biomimicry: How to Innovate like Wakandans through Nature-Inspired Design.”
Actor/director Lawrence Lee Wallace (Pieces of David), actor Eric Lane (Chi-Raq, Empire), actress/writer Cynda Williams (Mo’ Better Blues), actress Angela Cobb (Love Bones), and actress Anita Nicole Brown (The Helsings) will discuss Black filmmaking in Hollywood.
Other panels will include game design, cosplay, art, Kemetic Yoga, environmentalism, feminism, gender identity, improvisational theater, children’s activities, and of course, T’Challa.
Those who wish a break from the convention might wish to visit DuSable Museum of African-American History in Chicago’s Washington Park or the nearby town of Wauconda It’s pronounced the same way as the fictional African kingdom, but spelled differently.
If you’re in the Windy City this weekend, check out Wakandacon at the Hilton Chicago on Michigan Avenue. It sounds like a lot of fun.
Susan Macdonald is the author of the children’s book “R is for Renaissance Faire”, as well as short stories in “Alternative Truths”, “Swords and Sorceress #30”, “Supernatural Colorado”, “Barbarian Crowns”, “Cat Tails””Under Western Stars”, and “Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid”. Her articles have appeared on SCIFI.radio’s web site, in The Inquisitr, and in The Millington Star. She enjoys Renaissance Faires (see book above), science fiction conventions, Highland Games, and Native American pow-wows.