This weekend, Black Panther crowds were inspired to become informed voters, according to Deadline.
Black Panther And the Modern Vote
The Electoral Justice Project, part of The Movement for Black Lives launched their “Wakanda the Vote” campaign the day before the movie hit theatres. MBL counted on the massive popularity of Black Panther–especially with Black audiences. Their campaign encourages moviegoers to organize events at local theatres, or register themselves using a texting service.
The EJP fights for the advancement of the rights of the Black community through electoral strategy. With the 2018 midterm elections right around the corner, EJP hopes to encourage the community to vote during this divisive time in our country and make change.
Launching “Wakanda the Vote” now is good timing. Obviously, tying it to the film increases exposure. Additionally it will increase the number of Black voters in time for the 2018 midterm election. The campaign remains politically neutral, focusing instead on information about voter rights and registration. Fliers for the event on Twitter remind organizers that they “cannot tell people who to vote for.”
Black Panther and Activism
Black Panther itself does not remain as neutral. Erik Killmonger, T’Challa’s main rival in the film, plans on taking the throne of Wakanda for himself. His main goal is to take all the resources Wakanda has to offer in order to assist Black communities around the world, which will of course expose the cloaked country which has survived largely because of its secrecy.
Wakanda the Vote will likely have added impact for audiences leaving the theatre, following the film’s discussions around activism and community engagement.
Black Panther is based on the Marvel Comics property of the same name. The film stars Chadwick Boseman (T’Challa/Black Panther), Michael B. Jordan (Erik Killmonger), Letitia Wright (Shuri), Lupita Nyong’o (Nakia), and Danai Gurira (Okoye). The cast also includes Martin Freeman (Agent Ross), Andy Serkis (Ulysses Klaue), Daniel Kaluuya (W’Kabi), Winston Duke (M’Baku), Forest Whitaker (Zuri) and Angela Bassett (Queen Ramonda). Black Panther is directed and written by Ryan Coogler, with additional writing by Joe Robert Cole.