The iconic suit will be the centerpiece of the museum’s new 4,300-square-foot temporary exhibition.
Chadwick Boseman’s Black Panther suit will be on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), according to a news release.
It will be the centerpiece of the museum’s new 4,300-square-foot temporary exhibition titled “Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures,” which will open in March.
“This exhibition will investigate Afrofuturist expression through art, music, activism and more, and explore Afrofuturism’s historic and poignant engagement with African American history and pop-culture,” NMAAHC captioned a post on Instagram announcing the exhibit.
Some of the iconic objects include a typewriter that acclaimed science fiction author Octavia Butler once owned and Nichelle Nichols’ “Star Trek” uniform.
The Black Panther suit represents the pop cultural impact of the first mainstream African superhero in American comic books. The “Black Panther” film is the first in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to highlight a Black superhero (the late Boseman’s titular character).
The Ryan Coogler-helmed film raked in over $218 million during its initial opening in 2018 over the four-day President’s Day weekend, theGrio reported. According to Box Office Mojo, “Black Panther” grossed over $1 billion worldwide. The sequel, “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” opens on Nov. 11 in U.S. theaters.
In its IG post, the museum noted the expansive range of the exhibit. “From the enslaved looking to the cosmos for freedom, to popular sci-fi stories inspiring Black astronauts, to the musical influence of Sun Ra, @outkast, @janellemonae, P-Funk and more — this exhibition covers the broad and impactful spectrum of Afrofuturism.”
One item from the music realm will be the space suit-inspired costume that Nona Hendryx (of LaBelle) wore during a live performance (on the TV show, “The Midnight Special”). Representing an impactful saga is the flight suit that Trayvon Martin — in his early teens at the time — wore to Experience Aviation, an Opa-locka, Florida-based nonprofit that provides project-based education in aviation and other STEM fields.
“Trayvon Martin’s flight suit tells the story of a dream of space flight ended tragically by earthbound violence,” said Kevin Young, the Andrew W. Mellon Director of NMAAHC.
“Afrofuturism: A History of Black Futures” will be on view from March 24, 2023 through March 2024 in the museum’s Bank of America Special Exhibitions Gallery.