Wakanda heads to Washington: The Smithsonian adds ‘Black Panther’ props to its collection

Posted at 3:11 PM, Jun 25, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-25 15:11:13-04

The Smithsonian is making sure that “Wakanda forever” stays that way for a long, long time.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture has added several objects from the record-breaking film “Black Panther” to its collection.

Items include the vibranium suit Chadwick Boseman wore; an autographed full shooting script of the movie; two pages of an early script and 24 behind-the-scenes photos from the production process.

“‘Black Panther’ illustrates the progression of blacks in film, an industry that in the past has overlooked blacks, or regulated them to flat, one-dimensional and marginalized figures,” a statement from the Smithsonian said. “The film, like the museum, provides a fuller story of black culture and identity.”

The museum acquired the objects after a screening of “Black Panther” there in February.

“We are an institution that is committed to telling the story through the African American lens,” Rhea Combs, the museum’s curator of film and photography, told CNN. “What embodies the African American lens better than a film like ‘Black Panther’?”

“Black Panther” has made history in more ways than one. Not only is it one of the highest grossing films in North American history, Black Panther is also the first superhero of African descent, the first Marvel film directed by an African-American — Ryan Coogler — and it was the most-tweeted-about movie of all time, according to Twitter.

The film also took home the title of Best Movie at the BET awards and won the MTV Movie & TV award for Movie of the Year last week.

“The film has a positive, affirming, and timely message for African American presence and representation,” Combs said. “It ticked a lot of the larger mission points with respect to the Museum and spoke to this dynamic and historic moment in African American history.”

The Smithsonian says plans for when and how the objects from “Black Panther” will be displayed are still under consideration.