There's A Real Town Named 'Wauconda' & They're Very Confused About All These Black Panther Calls

Photo: Courtesy of Marvel
Black Panther hasn't even been out for two weeks yet and it's already doing incredible things such as demolishing box office records and finally showing Black youth that, yes, they can be superheroes. More unexpectedly, it's put a small village in Illinois on the map.
Up until now, Wauconda, Illinois' shining feature was it's natural bog preserve, which is home to a bevy of beautiful, protected plants. It's not exactly what you'd call a "tourist destination." (No shade here, I'm also from a small farm town.)
However, ever since Black Panther debuted, the Lake County village — which is pronounced the same as "Wakanda," the fictional East African country — has reportedly been receiving loads of phone calls inquiring about its origins and natural resources, including the nearly impenetrable (and also fictional) metal vibranium.
Wauconda village employee Alise Homola told The Hollywood Reporter's blog Heat Vision that lately she's been fielding all sorts of strange communications.
"Someone called and asked how we pronounced the village name and when I told him, he began yelling, 'Wakanda forever!' which I am guessing is from the film," Homola said.
Heat Vision reports other people have asked if the local high school would consider changing its mascot to a black panther. Sadly, it doesn't seem that they will.
Since it doesn't appear that many of Wauconda's residents have viewed the film, perhaps director Ryan Coogler will host a free screening?
If booking a flight to the real Wauconda doesn't seem all that appealing to you, you might be glad to learn that an Atlanta airport is offering flights to the fictional Kingdom of Wakanda — and, as Time notes, they're totally approved by Lupita Nyong'o.
The actress, who's been keeping us wildly entertained during the film's promotional tour, responded to the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport with a list of proposed movie titles to keep fans occupied on the long, nonstop trip.
We're dying over "W'kabi In The Woods" and "T'Challa's Angels." Come to think of it, maybe Marvel and Coogler could make our dreams come true and bring one of these to the big screen as a spin-off? A girl can dream!
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