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Black Panther and Teachable Conversations



Black Panther, the film about the Marvel comics hero of the same name, was released in February of 2018. I can't even scratch the surface, much less over-emphasize, the cultural importance of the film. It's now the first superhero movie to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. And, in case you didn't know, it will be shown in theaters for free this next week in honor of Black History Month (which starts tomorrow).


I've become a bit of a Marvel Cinematic Universe connoisseur, and my favorite music from the Netflix series was from Luke Cage, easily. The live music in Harlem's Paradise and especially the organ-playing by Cornell Stokes made the first season quite the musical experience. But I was always excited to see what they'd do for the score of Black Panther.


It was written by a Swedish-born film composer of southern California named Ludwig Göransson. He had worked with film director Ryan Coogler before. But, for this project, Göransson did something that is also very important in multicultural worship. He had teachable conversations. Among other pursued research and relational education, Göransson stayed in Africa for a month and toured with indigenous musicians. Black Panther's successful and enjoyable score was, like multicultural worship is, a very collaborative effort.


As you watch Black Panther or celebrate Black History Month, prayerfully consider starting a teachable conversation where you learn about the musical worship by another culture. Such collaboration can lead to great and God-glorifying things.