Powerful Geography and Wakanda Forever: Parallel Worlds on the Edge of a Major Paradigm Shift as Both Face the Future




Pilgrim, Carley

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This paper examines the parallels of Geography Education and Wakanda in Ryan Coogler’s 2018 film, Black Panther. We will examine what choices do T’Challa and his people and storytellers make to face a future without Chadwick Boseman, yet with so much success under its belt? What sets Wakanda apart from other typical nations of Africa? How does Wakanda address the hurdles before them and what are their strengths? On the other hand, Geography Education also faces a difficult number of hurdles. For several decades, researchers in GeoEd have done tremendous work toward building the discipline back up. So far, their efforts continue to be ignored by state and federal education decision makers. Hence, Geography Literacy is at an all time low in K-12 general education classrooms across the nation. In the midst of an educational revolution, the idea of Powerful Geography takes hold. How can Geography retake its place at the top of the educational food chain? What strategies should geography take to rapidly and vigorously change? Ultimately, should Geography Education look to Wakanda as a template for the efforts and strategies needed to shift the paradigm in the real world of geographic literacy in America? After careful examination, this student/teacher of geography thinks yes.



geography education, powerful geography, Black Panther, Applied Geography


Pilgrim, C. (2022). Powerful geography and Wakanda forever: Parallel worlds on the edge of a major paradigm shift as both face the future. Master of Applied Geography Degree, Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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