Black Panther and A Collaborative Contributor

Before the Movie:

Understanding what it means to be a Collaborative Contributor pause and reflect on your relationship with others and how you work with others at school or at home.

Reflect: What do you think makes for good team work? What challenges or successes have you had being part of a team? Whether at school or at home, what do you believe are key rules to positive collaboration?

Collaboration is a working practice where individuals work together to achieve a common goal. With this in mind, being a Collaborative Contributor is being in active member of a team, showing value for the skills and mindsets of others and contributing to a positive culture where each team member is dignified. For this to happen, team members must be comfortable in themselves and respect the individual experiences of others.

King T’Challa (Black Panther) shows great leadership and vulnerability in being a Collaborative Contributor.

During the Movie:

From the onset of the film when T’Challa seeks out Nakia who is under assignment rescuing a group of refugees, it is apparent in their relationship and his sensibility with Okoye that he is not a leader that thrives for control or dominance. Rather, it’s quite clear that T’Challa values the perspective, skills, intellect and mindset of those around him. From Queen Mother to his little sister Shuri who is very much T’Challa’s Q from the Bond series, he is responsive and understands the importance of community and embracing the talents of others. He knows he cannot do it alone.

Futhermore, his complicated relationship with Erik Stevens (Killmonger), tribe leader M’Baku along with his dear friend W’Kabi, illustrates that T’Challa understands and values individual story. Although, he is pushed to depend Wakanda which leads to much action and spectacle, he ultimately would rather embrace diplomacy all while recognizing the complexity of individual narratives. This is reinforced at the end of the film when he honours his cousin Erik and gives him the opportunity to see a Wakanda sunset.

After the Movie:

Whether in class with students or at home with family, Black Panther provides an opportunity for us all to reflect on what it means to be a Collaborative Contributor while embracing the film’s roots in Afro-Futurism and the anti-colonial conversation.

Visit Reading Black Panther for a exploration of the film and for in-class or at home dialogue.

Be creative and have fun!