One of the things I’m loving about Marvel’s “Black Panther” is how interest in the film is inspiring young people to not only get interested in history and culture, but also to get interested in technology. And it looks like Disney, the parent studio behind Marvel Studios, is set to do it again next month with “A Wrinkle in Time.”
I read Madeleine L’Engle’s book as a child, a story about children traveling to distant worlds. And it’s well-documented that the upcoming movie adaptation is full of diversity. Oprah Winfrey co-stars and is the film’s producer. Award-winner Ava Duvernay is the director. Indian-American actress Mindy Kaling also stars, along with Reese Witherspoon.
And at the center of the story is Storm Reid, the young actress who plays Meg Murry on her fantastic adventure. The movie isn’t set to hit theaters until March 9, but it’s already inspiring some #blackgirlmagic in the real world.
This past weekend, Disney teamed up with Nissan, HP, The JetBlue Foundation and Black Girls Code to host “Warriors Who Code!” in Los Angeles. The effort brought together 50 girls from across America to sort out some of the science in the upcoming blockbuster. From a press release:
They ideated, brainstormed and developed coding solutions to common problems involving time, mobility and other concepts inspired by the film.
The girls were treated to a panel discussion prior to the challenge featuring Kimberly Bryant, Founder of Black Girls Code; Abby Harrison, Aspiring Astronaut; Aude Laurent, Nissan AI Researcher; Susan O’Day, Disney Enterprise & Tech CIO; Taylor Richardson, Aspiring Astronaut and Philanthropist, as well as a few surprise guests. The challenge was livestreamed on Facebook across Disney, Nissan and HP social channels.
The livestream was moderated by Jamie Broadnax from BlackGirlNerds.
As a dad of a daughter who is into coding — and who’s already announced her desire to see “Wrinkle” next weekend — I think stuff like this is super cool. I don’t think we’ve ever seen a black girl at the center of one of these mystical adventures, let alone using her brain to solve problems. Never underestimate the power of representation on the big screen.
Anyway, take a peek at these clips below . . . but make sure you check out the livestream of the forum at the top of this post. And show it to the young black girl nerd in your life. I’m going to share it with mine!