Black History Month is Every Month and #wakandaforever

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It is March, but of course Blackness is 24/7/365, and with T'Challa, Shuri, Okoye and ALL the inhabitants of Wakanda for inspiration, the VABBing of students everywhere can rise to the next level of excellence.

The movie alone, (you have seen the movie haven't you?)  is rife with instructional possibilities, but combined with the many Black Panther related resources available, and strategically selected CLR activities.... the engagement, learning and VABBing will  be OFF THE CHAIN. 

Genre - Science Fiction
Structure - Movie/Comic Books
Grade Levels - 2-12
Themes -  family, African Ancestry, responsibility and  leadership, fathers & sons, unity, community, self-knowledge/love, loss & rejection, overcoming challenges/mistakes, black excellence, the strength & leadership of women, the global role of technology, giving back/helping those who need it

Rings of Culture represented -

  • Ethnicity: blackness
  • Age: various
  • Gender: boy/girl/man/woman

Why It's VABBulous

  • The film unabashedly celebrates black excellence, identity, tradition, conflict, and conviction in a way that does not stereotype or present characters/stories as a monolith. 
  • The themes, characters and storylines are complex, layered and diverse just as people of African descent are.
  • It is applicable to many rings of culture, and also addresses the layers of the Iceberg of Culture
    • Everything from celebrations, dress, and music on the surface level, to concept of beauty, conversational patterns, patterns of handling emotions and nature of friendships to patterns of group decision making, preference for cooperation or competition, and problem solving roles on the deep level are represented in Black some. 

You might already have a VABBulous Black Panther lesson, but just in case you need some ideas.....

Elementary Discussion Prompts - 

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What superheroes look like you?

  • What are their superpowers, and how do they help people?
  • If you can't think of any Superheroes that look like you, imagine one that does. What would their strengths/powers be?
  • What characteristics make T'Challa a great superhero?
  • How do the women in Wakanda show that they are strong and smart?
  • Who is your favorite character in Black Panther and why?
  • How do you feel about Killmonger? Why?
  • What are the characteristics of a Superhero?
  • If you were the leader of an African country, what would be the most important thing for you to accomplish in your country?



What are the cultural themes of Black Panther?

Concepts of Blackness

  • Black Panther celebrates beauty, community and excellence not dictated by Eurocentric standards.  What are ways for this perspective/experience to cease being the exception?
  • While Wakanda is fictional, there are 54 real African countries with an abundance of beauty, resources, creativity, and intelligence. What are the countries of Africa?  Who are the people of Africa? What is the beauty, excellence and experience of some of these countries?
  • Why are black people so excited about this movie and other people so upset? How do you move past the ignorance of  history, black people, and racism?
  • How is Black Panther making history?
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What happens when a leader fails to protect a nation's children?     Is Erik Killmonger a sympatheic villain?  What Americans are Erik Killmonger?

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This is a drop in the bucket of the many lesson possibilities around the Black Panther movie, comics and themes. Every aspect is an opportunity to Validate, Affirm, Build and Bridge.  

Think not just resources, prompts, and themes, but also, instructional activities like - 

For more CLR skillset ideas, check out the March VABB Perspectives!

What ways will you VABB your students, and celebrate the excellence of Black Panther?  Share your ideas on twitter @validateaffirm #BeYou, #wakandaforever