Marvel’s “Black Panther” hits theaters on Feb. 15.
N.Y. Man Raises Thousands to Take Harlem Kids to ‘Black Panther’
The upcoming Marvel superhero movie “Black Panther” looks like one of the most anticipated Black-themed movies in many years.
Advance tickets have sold out in many cities.
But while the movie will definitely rake in lots of cash, what about poor Black and brown children who do not have the means to go to the movie theater whenever they chose?
Yonkers, N.Y. native and marketing consultant Frederick Joseph came up with a solution by launching a GoFundMe campaign, which sought to raise $10,000, in order to treat the children of Harlem, N.Y. to a special screening of “Black Panther” starring Chadwick Boseman (“Marshall”), Michael B. Jordan (“Creed”), Sterling K. Brown (“Whiskey Tango Foxtrot”), Forest Whitaker (“The Butler”), Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave)” and Angela Bassett (“9-1-1”).
“To me nothing is more important than inclusion and representation for children,” Joseph said. “This is such a bigger moment in time than a superhero movie.”
Nevertheless, the GoFundMe campaign achieved superhero success, surpassing its goal of $10,000 and raising more than $35,000.
According to the Huffington Post, Joseph plans to partner with the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem to host private screenings of “Black Panther” for children and their chaperones the week after its release in movie theaters.
The Ryan Coogler (“Fruitvale Station”) directed “Black Panther” is such an anticipated film in the Black community because it centers on a strong African king with a predominantly Black cast.
Marvel faced criticism in the past for its depiction of Black superhero Storm as a light-skinned Black woman with virtually few ties to Black or African culture.
T’Challa/Black Panther (Boseman) made an appearance in “Captain America: Civil War” and Black moviegoers have been clamoring for the release of “Black Panther” ever since.
According to imdb.com, “After the events of ‘Captain America: Civil War,’ King T’Challa returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.”
With such a strong depiction of Africa on such a large scale, Joseph hopes other community leaders across the country will follow his lead and raise money for other underprivileged children to see the film.
“We did so well but it’s not just about children in Harlem,” Joseph told the Huffington Post. “It’s about children of color, young girls, children from the LGBTQ community and so on.”
And like everything in business, especially in Hollywood, if “Black Panther” is a box office smash, fans can anticipate more films with strong depiction of Africa and African royalty.
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