Wakanda Forever—The Black Panther Theology Syllabus

General Information


A beginning, and continually-expanding look at the different streams, both theological and non-theological, that can inform a deeper understanding of the Marvel Comics Universe movie, “Black Panther.”

Required Readings before Going Further

Baptist, Edward. The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism. New York: Basic Books, 2014.

Du Bois, W.E.B. The Souls of Black Folk. Any edition.

Du Bois, W.E.B. The World and Africa. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007. (this edition also has “Color and Democracy”)

How the rest of the Syllabus is set up

The syllabus is broken down into units. The non-theological units are closer to the beginning.

Note: Some non-theological works will be in the theology units. Hopefully it will be easy to understand why.

***Editor’s Note, November 27, 2018: I have been slow in updating the syllabus, but it will be updated when I have a little more time.


Unit 1- AfroFuturism

Anderson, Reynaldo and Charles Jones. Afrofuturism 2.0. Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2016.

Butler, Octavia. Kindred. Boston: Beacon Press, 2003.

Butler, Octavia. Parable of the Sower. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2000.

Butler, Octavia. Parable of the Talents. New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2000.

Okorafor, Nnedi. Binti. New York: Tom Doherty Associates, 2015.

Okorafor, Nnedi. Who Fears Death. New York: Daw Books, 2014.


Unit 2- Looking at Race

Bell, Derrick. Faces at the Bottom of the Well: The Permanence of Racism. New York: Basic Books, 1992. (any edition)

Du Bois, W.E.B. Darkwater: Voices from Within the Veil. New York: Oxford University Press, 2017.

Fanon, Frantz. Black Skin, White Masks. London: Pluto Books, 2017.

Fanon, Frantz. The Wretched of the Earth. Cape Town: Kwela Books, 2017.

Fields, Karen E. and Barbara J. Fields. Racecraft. London: Verso, 2012.

Kelley, Robin D.G. Freedom Dream: The Black Radical Imagination. Boston: Beacon Press, 2002.

Kendi, Ibram. Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America. New York: Nation Books, 2016.

Muhammad, Khalil Gibran. The Condemnation of Blackness: Race, Crime, and the Making of Modern Urban America. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2011.

Roberts, Dorothy E. Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty. New York: Vintage Books, 1997.

Sharpe, Christina. In the Wake: On Blackness and Being. Durham: Duke University Press, 2016.

Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. From #BlackLivesMatter to Black Liberation. Chicago: Haymarket Books, 2016.


Unit 3- Historical Matters (Religious History, that is)

Butler, Anthea. Women in the Church of God in Christ. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2007.

Floyd-Thomas, Juan M. Liberating Black Church History: Making It Plain. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2014.

Higginbotham, Evelyn Brooks. Righteous Discontent: The Women’s Movement in the Black Baptist Church, 1880-1920. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1994.

Hopkins, Dwight. Down, Up, and Over: Slave Religion and Black Theology. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2000.

Pinn, Anne H. and Anthony B. Pinn. Fortress Introduction to Black Church History. Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2002.

Raboteau, Albert J. Canaan Land: A Religious History of African Americans. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Raboteau, Albert J. Slave Religion: The “Invisible Institution” in the Antebellum South. New York: Oxford University Press, 2004. (updated edition)

Weisenfeld, Judith. New World A-Coming: Black Religion and Racial Identity During the Great Migration. New York: New York University Press, 2017.


Unit 4- Rev. Dr. James H. Cone (1938-2018)

A Black Theology of Liberation. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2013. (40th Anniversary edition)

Black Church and Marxism. New York: Institute for Democratic Institutions, 1982.

Black Theology and Black Power. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1997. (reprint)

For My People: Black Theology and the Black Church. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1994. (2nd edition)

God of the Oppressed. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2000. (4th edition)

Martin and Malcolm and America: A Dream or a Nightmare. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2012. (20th Anniversary edition)

My Soul Looks Back. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1991. (reprint)

Risks of Faith: The Emergence of Black Theology, 1968-1998. Boston: Beacon Press, 1999.

Said I Wasn’t Gonna Tell Nobody: The Making of a Black Theologian. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2018.

Speaking the Truth: Ecumenism, Liberation and Black Theology. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 1999. (reprint)

The Cross and the Lynching Tree. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2011.

The Spirituals and the Blues: An Interpretation. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2000. (7th edition)


Unit 5- Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon (1950-2018)

Black Womanist Ethics. Eugene, Oregon: Wipf and Stock, 2006.

God’s Fierce Whimsy: Christian Feminism and Theological Education. New York: Pilgrim Press, 1988. (3rd printing)

Katie’s Canon: Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community. New York: Continuum, 1996.

The Oxford Handbook of African American Theology (with Anthony Pinn). New York: Oxford University Press, 2018.

Womanist Theological Ethics: A Reader (with Emilie Townes and Angela Sims). Louisville, Kentucky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011.