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The Wakanda spirit lives on in remembrance of Chadwick Boseman

Mike Desmond / Chadwick Boseman
WBFO News / Twitter
A Black Panther symbol is painted on the car of a Wakanda Alliance member (l), who is now remembering actor Chadwick Boseman.

The death of actor Chadwick Boseman is drawing sorrow from a group that uses "The Black Panther" movie and comics to tell young people about their African roots.

The local Wakanda Alliance is connected to an array of afrofuturism groups, which use stories and images to connect young people. Tuesday evening, the group had a news conference to talk of plans to remember the actor who died last Friday at age 43 and starred in "The Black Panther."

The movie is based on a mythical African country of great development and good government relying on a material originally found in a meteorite. Boseman's character is the hereditary king.

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News
Members of the Wakanda Alliance in Buffalo Tuesday.

Da'Von McCune from the Wakanda Alliance says the movie is crucial for children of the African Diaspora.

"We believe that art is significant," McCune said. "If you grow up in the world and you only see heroes that look like Superman or Iron Man, then how can you look in a mirror and really see a hero looking at yourself? So the significance of the 'The Black Panther' movie not only touch youth, but they touch the people as a whole whose ancestors have been scattered across the world."

McCune said the group plans an array of events to remember Boseman and to further the message of the comics and particularly of the film.

The group's Anthony Pierce said the group has a variety of techniques.

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News
Members of the Wakanda Alliance in Buffalo Tuesday.

"We can use water, obviously. We can get somebody who is in California. They can jump into the conversation and have their input. For example, if we're talking about a situation in Buffalo, with the protests and everything else that are happening here, now we can get we can get different perspectives from around the country," Pierce said.

Pierce said the group also uses Brazil as another country where many slaves were taken from Africa and shipped along the Middle Passage.

Da'Von McCune said there eventually may be trips to Africa.

"We have had interest within those groups and we are looking at different programs and different funding sources so that we can put together a trip," he said. "But, obviously, we are inside of a pandemic and we want to stay safe. So when travel is turning back to normal and we can go safely, then we do plan to take youth back to Africa."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.
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