A Sporting Life Black History Month Special:
Nashville Events for Marvels’ Black Panther

Marvel Studios’ BLACK PANTHER..L to R: Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) and T’Challa/Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)..Photo: Matt Kennedy..©Marvel Studios 2018

I have to admit that I read the first comic book appearance of the Black Panther when he debuted in Marvel Comics. It was in Fantastic Four #52 (July 1966). It made a very memorable impression, as I graduated from an all-black grade school and was headed to a predominately white all-male high school, it gave me a sense of pride that I can’t describe. The new Black Panther movie is a source of pride for African Americans now, as it features an African kingdom in full control of its technology (the most advanced on the planet) and its culture.

In honor of Carter G. Woodson’s National Negro History Week, a local group has emerged and launched Black Geek Week Nashville as part of their Black History Month festivities starting Sunday, February 11, 2018. The week’s events center around the release of Marvel’s Black Panther and a celebration of those who have pushed the boundaries of thought and technology. Black Antiquity is a Nashville observance of Black History Month. In collaboration with local Nashville organizations and businesses, Black Antiquity is bringing you two weeks of history and celebrations with the kick-off of Black Geek Week, February 11-17, 2018.

Moreover, the events seek to expose Middle Tennessee to a demographic of black “nerds” and “geeks” who are rarely highlighted in pop-culture and contemporary discussions on geek culture. The week will consist of Black Panther themed film screenings, art exhibits, panel discussions, parties, shows, fashion exhibitions, yoga, dance, and even an innovation and technology leadership conference for high school students from all over Tennessee.

Black Geek Week Nashville festivities are co-sponsored by Music City Dream Cars, Pacfest, Black In Tech Nashville, the EEOG, GAWD, Slim and Husky’s Roll Out, Uncle Nearest, the Equity Alliance, Stacey Wines, Seafood Sensations, Norf Art Collective, One Drop Ink, Jefferson Street Art Crawl, 4Ward Entertainment, Metro Arts Thrive, United Street Tours, Conscious Conversations, 2100 Social Club, Meharry Nashville Alumni Chapter, Concrete Magazine, Downtown Candle Co., George Thomas for Senate, Young Black Professionals of Nashville, Opportunity Digest, Haven, Lovenoise, The Garden Brunch, Haven Law, Fellavision & Black Antiquity.

Here’s a calendar/overview of the Black Geek Week Nashville activities:
Feb. 12: 7 pm – Afrofuturism Dance Class at Coleman Community Center
Feb. 13: 7 pm – “Black to the Future/Afrofuturism & Technology” at Google Fiber Space
Feb. 15: 6pm – Marvel’s Black Panther Black Carpet Screening at Regal Hollywood 27- Royal Attire and Cosplay requested
Feb. 16: 9 pm – Experience the Music of Marvel’s Black Panther at Mercy Lounge
Feb. 17: 10 AM – Black Panther Yoga/Vinyasa at Nashville Ballroom & Company

Several other events are planned for that week and the following week; see them on their Facebook page or on the official website for the group, search “Black Antiquity” Nashville.

Other groups at Nashville area cinemas hosting Thursday, Feb. 15 Premiere events for Marvels’ Black Panther film in Nashville include the following:

Regal Green Hills 16 – BLACK PANTHER 3D: Red Carpet Movie Premiere Advanced Screening Hosted by Meharry Made, the Meharry Nashville Area Alumni Chapter; 6:15 PM Sharp! Wear your favorite African, HBCU, or Divine 9 attire; ALL Proceeds from this event will go toward increasing scholarship funds for the medical, dental, and graduate students at Meharry.

Regal Opry Mills 20 – This Black Carpet event has papparazzi, luxury sports cars, and live African drummers. Royal Attire and cosplay is strongly recommended, VIP seating is available, which also includes a Regal gift card and a commemorative souvenir. Proceeds go to Nashville nonprofit EEOG in support of GAWD. 6:30 PM.

AMC CLASSIC Antioch 8 – the Men of Phi Beta Sigma VIP Premiere Screening supports a local landmark for an evening of fun and entertainment; costumes are welcomed; 7:14 PM – 10:14 PM CST.

Other groups are providing opportunities to send youth to screenings, such as the YMCA Young Achievers. Ask around for ways you can help their efforts. Read my review of the Marvel’s Black Panther film in the Friday, Feb. 16 print edition of the PRIDE, or online Thursday, February 15 on the official PRIDE website.