While fans will have to wait until February to see Black Panther when it hits theaters, those in attendance at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's Annual Legislative Conference were treated to exclusive footage from the upcoming Marvel Studios film.
While the conference is generally known for being a policy conference where leaders and concerned citizens gather to discuss issues impacting both African Americans and the larger global black community, according to The Root, first-term Representative Val Demmings from Florida's 10th District put together a different kind of panel.
With Disney World being located within her district, Demmings used her connections to put on "Imagining a Bigger World -- Marvel's Black Panther, Cultural Heritage and STEM." The panel, which included Black Panther director Ryan Coogler and executive producer Nate Moore, premiered five minutes of footage from the film to the approximately 150 people in attendance.
While some of the footage screened during the panel had previously been shown at San Diego Comic Con earlier this year, this panel marked the first time that the film's footage had been seen by a majority black audience and it was a hit for those in attendance. According to The Root, the footage prompted conversations about everything from Vibranium to the cultural impact of the film with panelist Rick Loverd noting the impact the Hunger Games films and Brave had been on girls and archery.
"You can't be what you can't see," Loverd said.
Black Panther will hit theaters on February 16, 2018.