Queen of The Lab: Disney’s Newest Princess is a Black Teen Genius

Source: Marvel via The Source Drum

Source: Marvel via The Source Drum

On February 16, 2018 Marvel Studios, now owned by Disney Studios, introduced viewers to the world of Wakanda. Black Panther is the first Marvel Cinematic Universe movie that was directed by an African American male, Ryan Coogler, and also feature a majority Black cast. The movie features an amazing cast of strong black men and women, one of whom stole the show every time she appeared on screen. Princess Shuri is the younger sister of the films protagonist T’Challa, the alter ego of the hero Black Panther.

When we're first introduced to Shuri in the film, she comes across as the cute little sister meant to be the comic relief with her bubbly personality and the fact that she isn’t afraid to pick on her Kingly older brother. Shuri could have easily faded into the background as a secondary character until it was revealed that she is the brains behind the throne, having created all the technological advancements for the country of Wakanda. Her accolades include building all of her brothers suits, weapons and designing a safer system for harvesting vibranium, Wakanda’s most precious resource and one of the sources of conflict for the film. In a film full of #BlackGirlMagic, Shuri quickly becomes a favorite character.

As the movie progresses she takes a pivotal role in many of her brother’s conflicts without ever having to leave her lab. Princess Shuri designed a system that allows her to control varying modes of transportation, including a car and several different planes. While maintaining the different technologies that have been left in her hands, Shuri also found the time to develop a badass set of panther shaped hand cannons for herself.

Source: Marvel Studios via Popsugar

Source: Marvel Studios via Popsugar

Disney’s most recent princesses have been straying away from what we could describe as “ the traditional princess mold” into diverse and incredibly talented women. Shuri picked up that torch and ran with it, becoming a standout character that made us fall in love with black women in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Young girls of all ages were able to see a Princess that used science and technology to help save her country.  Hopefully seeing Shuri will encourage young women, especially black women to show an interest in STEM. In the last few years programs have been introduced across the country to encourage more young women to pursue careers in STEM.

Black Girls Code is one such program. Founded in April of 2011, the program's focus is to provide young women in underserved areas with the opportunity to experience introductory computer programming classes. They offer different events across the country, allowing girls as young as eight to learn a new skill. For more information about the program visit Bblackgirlscode.com.

Will Jac Schaeffer Do Marvel's "Black Widow" Justice?

If TiMER is any indication of Jac Schneider's abilities, then Black Widow is in serious trouble.

If Wonder Woman's success is any indication, the world is ready for more women-led superhero films. WW broke records and barriers, becoming the first successful, woman-led superhero film. WW is something we've been asking for for years but film industry execs didn't think that a woman-led superhero film could bring in the big bucks. Boy were they wrong! Now, that Hollywood has gotten the message, Black Widow has gotten the green light. But there's cause for worry.

Jac Schaeffer is rumored to have been selected to pen Black Widow's solo film debut. But who the heck is Jac Schaeffer? What has she done? Why is she the right woman for the job?

Schaeffer made her screenwriting debut in 2009 film TiMER, an unconventional romantic comedy about timer implants being able to predict and countdown to the day the wearer will meet their soulmate, provided their soulmate also has the timer implant. The humor was a bit dry. I struggled to sit through the entire film, but I had to. I was hoping against all hope that the film would turn into something magical. It didn't. Granted, the film wasn't horrible. It was just not very memorable, exciting or funny-not entertaining.

Schaeffer also wrote The Shower, a Black List script (film and television scripts that were not selected for production, so a group of professionals offer to do readings of the script). The Shower is about a baby shower that is abruptly interrupted by a meteor shower that turns all of the men into blood-thirsty zombies. It's not a film premise I'd get excited about. It sounds like a film I'd maybe check out if it were on network television and I couldn't find anything to watch. The celebrities who read for The Shower raved about its unexpected and fresh writing. Maybe that says something. But the humor was just flat or nonexistent. Not even the talented Anne Hathaway reading could spruce it up. Schaeffer also wrote Frozen's Olaf's Adventures. Kids like Frozen, so there's that.

This isn't looking all that great for Black Widow and she deserves better. Now is not the time to take a gamble on one of the most anticipated female superhero characters--someone fans been dying to see in a solo film since her first film appearance in Iron Man 2. What about about Ryan Coogler? Everything he's written has been beyond beautiful, especially Black Panther. How about Nicole Perlman who wrote Guardians of the Galaxy? Or Jane Goldman who wrote Kick-Ass and Kingsman: The Secret Service