Wakanda Forever: Killmonger the Villain or Nah?

Friday May 4: 7:00PM 8:00PM

In the United States, we like to believe that our brand of democracy works to make our country great. But for whom? George Washington believed that only the “lower class of people” should serve as foot soldiers in the Continental Army. Thomas Jefferson envisioned his public schools educating talented students “raked from the rubbish” of the lower class. John Adams believed the “passion for distinction” was a powerful human force: “There must be one, indeed, who is the last and lowest of the human species.”

These founding fathers, many of them holders of enslaved persons, have always intended for many people to be left out of the social contract. Enter Eric (Killmonger) Stevens, dual citizen of the U.S. and Wakanda and the antagonist of Marvel’s Black Panther.

First introduced in the 70’s amongst the backdrop of decolonization, Killmonger, an M.I.T. graduate, certainly knows the troubling histories of both his nations. Eric Stevens/N’Jadaka, is marginalized in the United States and branded a villain by his homeland’s ruler (and cousin). Despite his questionable actions, in the end he seeks what we all want: the supposedly unalienable rights of a citizen.

Teacher: Makeba Lavan is a doctoral candidate at the Graduate Center, CUNY. Generally speaking, her research focuses on (African) American Studies, Speculative Fiction and Popular Culture. She teaches at Lehman College.

Complimentary beer by our presenting partner Sixpoint Brewery.

Sixpoint’s motto is “Beer is Culture,” to highlight the human trajectory—the earliest human civilizations were founded upon the cultivation of cereal grains for making beer. Sixpoint aims to perpetually inspire the art, creativity, and collaboration generated through beer by acknowledging the history of the craft, while forging ahead to inspire culture in a modern setting.

Admission Options: Buy a ticket HERE to attend this event. Please note that payment is required for all online event orders at the time of checkout. The event will be located in the Strand's 3rd floor Rare Book Room at our store at 828 Broadway at 12th Street.