We The Fans: How Our Powers Can Change The World

As some of you know, I spent some time with the Pop Culture Collaborative as their Senior Fellow on Fandoms and how Fandom power can be used to add to the social good.  What follows is a distillation of my research and findings. There are hundreds of pages that I’ll do something with at a later date. Also, for those who want it, there will be an audio version coming soon. Here’s the intro:

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‘Black Panther’ Ignites the Next Generation of Fandom Movements

Originally posted at Pop Culture Collab

“It’s Panther season, family.”

My cousin recently said this to me after I asked how her freshman year at an Ivy League university was going. Let’s be clear, by no means is my cousin a comic book or superhero film fan. She always teased me for being an “Afrogeek” and wondered why I loved superheroes, horror, science fiction, and related genres.

But she was one of the scores of black audience members so excited about Black Panther, the latest superhero film released in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), that she and “a couple dozen” of her friends bought early tickets to the February 16 premiere. Every one of them wore an African-inspired outfit.

When I teased her for “coming over to the geek side,” she laughed at me like she knew something I didn’t. “This is not about comic books or superheroes, cousin,” she rebutted. “This is about culture.”

She made me wonder: Why has Black Panther transcended both its comic book and superhero film roots and typical fandoms?

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