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Wakanda Syllabus: Books

A bibliography that explores the artistic and cultural context of Marvel’s Black Panther comics, and the fictional world of Wakanda

Fiction

Kindred: a Graphic Novel Adaptation

"Home is a new house with a loving husband in 1970s California that is suddenly transformed into the frightening world of the antebellum South. Dana, a young black writer, can't explain how she is transported across time and space to a plantation in Maryland. But she does quickly understand why: to deal with the troubles of Rufus, a conflicted white slaveholder - and her progenitor. Her survival, her very existence, depends on it. This searing graphic-novel adaptation of Octavia E. Butler's science fiction classic is a powerfully moving, unflinching look at the violent, disturbing effects of slavery on the people it chained together, both black and white - and made kindred in the deepest sense of the word"-- Provided by publisher

Native Son

Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Richard Wright's novel is just as powerful today as when it was written -- in its reflection of poverty and hopelessness, and what it means to be black in America.

Black Panther by Christopher Priest

Black Panther reinvented as a sharp and witty political satire? Believe it! T'Challa is the man with the plan, as Christopher Priest puts the emphasis on the Wakandan king's reputation as the ultimate statesman, as seen through the eyes of the U.S. government's Everett K. Ross. As the Panther investigates a murder in New York, Ross plays Devil's Advocate in an encounter with Mephisto, and a new regime seizes control in Wakanda.

Octavia's Brood

"Whenever we envision a world without war, without prisons, without capitalism, we are producing visionary fiction. Organizers and activists envision, and try to create, such worlds all the time. This book brings twenty of them together in the first anthology of short stories to explore the connections between radical speculative fiction and movements for social change. The visionary tales of Octavia's Brood span genres--sci-fi, fantasy, horror, magical realism--but all are united by an attempt to experiment with new ways of understanding ourselves, the world around us, and all the selves and worlds that could be. The collection is rounded off with essays by Tananarive Due and Mumia Abu-Jamal, and a foreword by Sheree Renée Thomas"--Page 4 of cover.

My Soul to Keep

Jessica, a black reporter in Miami, discovers her husband, Seth, is not 30, but 500 years old, a member of an Ethiopian order of immortals. Recalled by the order for leaking the secret, Seth vows to give his wife and daughter immortality. But do they really want it? A look at the pros and cons of living forever. By the author of The Between.

Non-Fiction

Freedom Flyers

"As the country's first African American military pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen fought in World War II on two fronts: against the Axis powers in the skies over Europe and against Jim Crow racism and segregation at home. Although the pilots flew more than 15,000 sorties and destroyed more than 200 German aircraft, their most far-reaching achievement defies quantification: delivering a powerful blow to racial inequality and discrimination in American life. In this inspiring account of the Tuskegee Airmen, historian J. Todd Moye captures the challenges and triumphs of these brave pilots in their own words, drawing on more than 800 interviews recorded for the National Park Service's Tuskegee Airmen Oral History Project."--Publisher's description.

The Blacker the Ink

When many think of comic books the first thing that comes to mind are caped crusaders and spandex-wearing super-heroes. Perhaps, inevitably, these images are of white men (and more rarely, women). It was not until the 1970s that African American superheroes such as Luke Cage, Blade, and others emerged. But as this exciting new collection reveals, these superhero comics are only one small component in a wealth of representations of black characters within comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels over the past century. The Blacker the Ink is the first book to explore not only the diverse range of black characters in comics, but also the multitude of ways that black artists, writers, and publishers have made a mark on the industry.

Killing Rage

Twenty-three essays written from a black and feminist perspective ; they consider the bitter difficulties of racism by envisioning a world without it."One of our country's premier cultural and social critics, bell hooks has always maintained that eradicating racism and eradicating sexism must go hand in hand. But whereas many women have been recognized for their writing on gender politics, the female voice has been all but locked out of the public discourse on race. Killing Rage speaks to this imbalance. These twenty-three essays are written from a black and feminist perspective, and they tackle the bitter difficulties of racism by envisioning a world without it. 

Afrofuturism 2. 0

This collection examines the applicability of contemporary expressions of Afrofuturism to the fields of Africana studies, cultural studies, and other areas of academic inquiry. The essays within this book identify the twenty-first-century expressions of Afrofuturism emerging in the areas of metaphysics such as speculative philosophy, religion, visual studies, performance, art, and the philosophy of science and technology.

Black Comics

Bringing together contributors from a wide-range of critical perspectives, Black Comics: Politics of Race and Representation is an analytic history of the diverse contributions of Black artists to the medium of comics. Covering comic books, superhero comics, graphic novels and cartoon strips from the early 20th century to the present, the book explores the ways in which Black comic artists have grappled with such themes as the Black experience, gender identity, politics and social media.