Black Panther mania is in full swing, as the stars of the upcoming addition into the Marvel Cinematic Universe have been selected to cover the March 2018 issue of Essence

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Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya, Forrest Whitaker, Letitia Wright and director Ryan Coogler all sat down with the magazine to discuss why this fictional African nation feels so urgent in today's society. 

Gurira speaks about her personal affinity for the film, revealing how "the idea of creating a scenario where you're seeing very powerful, empowered Africans is really thrilling to me, something my heart, soul, and spirit yearned to see." 

Director Ryan Coogler also spoke with the publication about his experiences with helming this landmark film, admitting that "I had really been studying the effects of colonization and the African Diaspora, specifically as it relates to African-Americans and Africans, and what I hit on was this concept of what it means to be African. I pitched that to the studio as a main theme of exploration, and they were totally interested, which is, to their credit, really cool."

The fictional Wakanda region was fashioned to appear untouched by colonial invaders, manifesting a fantasized look at what Africa could have looked like if it had not been invaded by Europeans. 

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Peep some images of the cast below: