Is Wakanda a Real Place? Historian Taps Into Real-Life Culture That Inspired 'Black Panther'

Dr. Abosede George looks at how the box office smash mirrors real life.

Box office smash Black Panther may be set in the fictional land of Wakanda, but the nation draws heavily on real African culture and experience.

From the waterfalls of Wakanda to the characters' makeup and ornamental scarring, the movie is inspired by real practices, people and places.

In the video above, Dr. Abosede George, a history professor in Barnard College's Africana Studies department, watches scenes from the movie to discuss how their inspirations in African culture.

"They created such a fascinating, lush world," she tells "In some corners of the West, there is this idea that Africa is one big place, or just one place, not that it's big. Everyone's the same, they all think the same, they look the same, they're all experiencing the same things.

"What I like about the film is that even in one nation of Wakanda they had a lot of diversity. So multiply that by 54 and you can begin to approximate the reality of how diverse and complex the real-life Africa might be."