DOWNTOWN — Love Black Panther and need a little more Wakanda in your life?
Wakandacon, Chicago’s first black, feminist-friendly pop culture/tech convention makes its debut this weekend at the Hilton Chicago, 720 S. Michigan Ave.
A community-focused convention billed as a “celebration of black culture,” the event aims to provide a welcoming space for black nerds and those who love them. Actress Erika Alexander, best known for her role as Maxine Shaw on the hit 90s Fox sitcom “Living Single,” is among those scheduled to appear.
The independent, family-friendly event boasts three days of programming, from panels on STEM and game design to a filmmaking workshop and a Jabari Stunt workshop led by Mark Willis, an Oak Park native who appeared in “Black Panther.” Attendees are invited to participate in the Wakandacon cosplay contest Saturday night.
Wakandacon is the brainchild of siblings David, Ali, and Matt Barthwell and their friends, Lisa Beasley and Taylor Witten.
“We wanted this to be more than just ‘come in and meet your favorite celebrity for three minutes’ we want this to be a safe space for black people, people of color, everybody, to come together and share ideas and their passions,” Ali Barthwell said in a “Windy City Live” interview earlier this month. “We’re just asking people ‘What are you a nerd about? Come bring your nerdiness to Wakandacon.’”
Tickets are available online until Aug. 1. The event kicks off at 4 p.m. Friday. For more information and the full schedule, go to www.wakandacon2018.com.