Florida Memorial University lit by visit of ‘Black Panther’ star

Among several other areas of study, Florida Memorial University (FMU) is proud of its innovative film and television department. FMU Professor Russell Motley recently coordinated an inventive event on FMUs campus, teaching students the basics of entertainment reporting.

Several months ago, Motley hosted a similar event for the blockbuster Black Panther with thespian Letitia Wright, the actress who plays T’Challa’s scientist sister. When actor Winston Duke’s entourage arrived on FMUs campus on April 18, it included several promotional delegates, a make-up artist, and a Disney representative.

Duke plays the character M’Baku, who was born and raised in the Jabari Village within the fictional nation of Wakanda in the record-setting film Black Panther. Duke, who is about 6-foot-3, hails from Trinidad-Tobago. Among the audience were members of the FMU Caribbean Club, who were thrilled to meet a movie star from their hometown.

Florida Memorial University students, along with professor Russell Motley, hang out with “Black Panther” star Winston Duke. Photo courtesy of Florida Memorial University

Winston attended the Yale School of Drama with fellow Black Panther co-star, Lupita Nyong’o. Duke conveyed to the enthusiastic audience how the two used to talk as students about working together one day on a Marvel movie. Duke expressed how grateful he was to reach so many people through the hit-making Marvel Studios movie.

Duke is now starring in his next movie, Avengers: Infinity War, where he reprises his M’Baku role The film is a Marvel and Disney collaboration and tells the story of how Iron Man, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet, the evil Thanos.

FMU Professor Russell Motley said it’s important for him to go the extra mile to coordinate state-of-the-art events for his students.

“Events like the Q&A with Avenger’s star Winston Duke are teaching tools in my journalism class,” Motley said. “My students are usually filming and interviewing people at these events, which gives them a more realistic experience of what it’s like working under pressure in the TV industry.”

The only HBCU in South Florida, Florida Memorial University, is quickly becoming more popular and Hollywood recognizes it. After Beyonce’s nod to HBCUs at Coachella and the rise of Black Marvel movies, historically black colleges and universities have always had the ear of the athletic elite. Now they are also peaking the interest of the entertainment world.

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