With the highly anticipated release of Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, and later this summer with Ant Man & the Wasp, 2018 is set to be not only a year of adventure, but it also places technology in the forefront.
As a former engineer it’s important to me to help others embrace the importance of science, math, and technology. If you have followed G&G for a while, you know that at the age of 30 I returned to school to pursue my degree in chemical engineering. It wasn’t an easy feat by any stretch of the imagination. I was the only female and African American in a majority of my courses, and on top of that I was the oldest.
Being married and having young kids while going to school isn’t the norm, and it’s definitely a struggle. But what it did was give me an appreciate for all things science, and I vowed that I would ensure that everyone around me would learn just how easy it is to do (and love) math, physics, chemistry and everything else!
One way I have found to do that is to merge some of our favorite past times, with the sciences. The Marvel Universe is full of amazing engineers and scientists, many of whom have genius level intellect.
When it comes down to technology however, only two places standout: Wakanda and Stark Industries.
We all know that Tony Stark is a certified genius; he is the “genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist” . But Princess Shuri of Wakanda’s has already been touted as being smarter than Tony.
She’s the Tony Stark of Wakanda. She’s witty, she’s cool, she’s funny.
Who is Shuri?
Shuri was created by Ben Dunn in 2002 for Marvel Manaverse #2. She was brought into mainstream continuity by writer Reginald Hudlin and artist John Romita, Jr., in Black Panther #2 (2005). Shuri is T’Chaka’s youngest child and younger half-sister of T’Challa. She’s the only biological child of T’Chaka’s second wife, Ramonda played by Angela Bassett.
Shuri has spent her whole life researching, experimenting with, and coming up with whole new methods for Wakanda’s precious Vibranium resources. What’s even more stunning is the Dora Milaje’s ring weapons and even Shuri’s gauntlet; all which appear to have African vibe. Which illustrates Wakanda’s mix of cultural roots being perfectly blended with technology.
Why Shuri’s Presence Matters
Currently women in tech face sexism, harassment and a tremendous gender wage gap. So, while 74 percent of young girls express interest in STEM fields and computer science they hold only 25 percent of computing jobs. It’s a real problem. But it’s worse for women of color. According to a study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets by the American Geophysical Union women of color in astronomy and planetary science face more gender and race related hostile environments.
As we deal with the stereotype of women not enjoying tech or being interested; Shuri definitely shuts all of those stereotypes down. It is my hope that seeing a strong young woman being immersed in this world, and whose intellect rivals that of Banner and Stark (and a POC woman at that), that women from all walks of life will start to immerse themselves in STEM as well.
We do know that both tech giants will come in handy and will need to be on their “A game” once they battle Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War when it hit’s theaters May 4th, 2018.
Love of impromptu dance parties, 80’s cartoons, and horizontal life pauses (aka naps); Natasha Brown is a stay at home mom of 4 kids, and wife to one lucky guy! In her spare time, she is co-editor of Grits & Grace, as well as editor for The Mother Hustler Blog and Creative Director for the Mother Hustler podcast.