Travis Love, an actor with roles in the movie “Black Panther” and the TV show “The Walking Dead,” flew to Alaska for the first time this week to be the keynote speaker at the inaugural Anchorage Wakanda Ball.
Before he went to the ball, though, he came to the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club.
“Being a former middle school teacher and educator and football coach, anything I can do that would help inspire the kids, I’m all for that,” Love said Friday, sitting in a sunny side room at the neighborhood clubhouse.
After a fundraiser organized by the Anchorage Community Land Trust raised more than $3,000, club members on Wednesday attended a special “Black Panther” screening at Century 16. On Friday, some of the kids still wore shirts from the show — “Wakanda Forever.”
Love has worked with youth for years, he said. Before he was a Jabari warrior, he was a counselor at a youth detention center, then a teacher and coach. He still keeps in touch with some of his former students, he said. They’re still some of his biggest inspirations, he said. They call or send messages to say they’ve seen him on TV, somewhere he never thought he’d be. Until it happened.
So when he strode into the gym and stood in front of all the kids gathered at the Mountain View Boys and Girls Club Friday afternoon, he knew what he wanted to tell them. Chase your dream, he said. Never give up.
“I’ve always worked with kids, and now, doing what I’m doing, I realize how much it gives me a platform to reach out to them and encourage them and inspire them, so if I can do anything to encourage the next generation to follow their dreams and pursue their goals … that’s my ultimate goal.”
The Wakanda Ball, a special event organized by Juneteenth Anchorage and a coalition of local businesses, takes place April 14. Learn more here.