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ST. LOUIS – St. Louis has ties to the history-making Marvel movie “Black Panther.” It was one of the first Disney productions to have a Black director. The creativity that brought the kingdom of Wakanda to life included St. Louis-native SZA on the soundtrack and Normandy High School alum Kevin Mayes worked on the costume design.  

14-time grammy neo-soul superstar, Solana Rowe – who we know as SZA – was featured on the lead single from the soundtrack album from “Black Panther.” The song “All The Stars” received nominations for best original song at the 76th Golden Globes, the 91st Academy Awards, and the song earned four nominations at the 61st Grammy Awards.

Head tailor Kevin Mayes stitched together the dazzling and bold costumes from the movie that embraced African culture. He was part of the team that helped Ruth E. Carter become the first Black woman to win an Oscar for best costume design.  

When you think of the magic of Wakanda, keep in mind that St. Louis sprinkled some of its own magic into the mega-budget movie.

Blair’s Black History Moment highlights the history, success, and contributions of African Americans, both past and present, across the St. Louis region. If you would like to highlight a part of Black History dear to the St. Louis area, please send an email to as we recognize people, places, and events crucial to building the St. Louis community.