Several Black celebrities are using their power to help kids see the highly anticipated Black Panther.
The film is already being hailed as a magical affair for Black folks, depicting strong representations of African Americans. Though the Marvel film is based on a fictional comic series, the characters possess a lot of qualities that are relatable to real-life people. The women in Black Panther’s world, known as Wakanda, are strong and complex. The men are known as kings and warriors.
Many activists and celebrities recognize that these themes are powerful for Black folks. They know that this film provides a chance for people of color to see themselves on screen through the lens of the characters. (Sidenote: Black Panther presales have broken records!).
New York resident Frederick Joseph was all about those powerful themes when he set up a GoFundMe to bring a group of Harlem schoolchildren to a Black Panther screening. Here are the famous folks who are supporting his nationwide #BlackPantherChallenge ahead of the film’s release on February 16:
The Help actress is on a personal mission to help make BP for the kids.
“I will be in [Mississippi] when this movie opens. I think I will buy out a theatre in an underserved community there to ensure that all our brown children can see themselves as a superhero. I will let you know where and when Mississippi. Stay tuned. #KingsAndQueensWillRise,” Spencer recently wrote on Instagram.
Hill has partnered with the Detroit Free Press, and one of the paper’s columnists, Rochelle Riley, as well as the Detroit Lions, to take more than 200 students who have perfect school attendance this year to see Black Panther. Hill, who is a Detroit native and former writer for the Detroit Free Press, took to Twitter to ask for help for her BP effort. She tweeted at the likes of Big Sean and Jalen Rose before the Detroit paper joined her effort. Nice!
WWE star Thaddeus “Titus O’Neil” Bullard wants to take 500 young kids in Tampa Bay, Florida to see the Marvel film, which stars Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Angela Bassett and more. Titus, a former Gators defensive end and philanthropist, is focused on the Tampa Bay area in participating in the #BlackPantherChallenge, which is turning into a nationwide movement to raise money for kids to see the movie.
“I’m 40 years old and I’ve never seen a Marvel character that looked like me, as an African-American male,” Bullard said to the Tampa Bay Times. “This will be the first time I’ve seen a superhero on screen that looks like me and I want kids to not only be able to see superheroes on the screen but also to view themselves as superheroes.”
Honorable Mention: Little Miss Flint
Folks should remember Mari Copeny, a.k.a. Little Miss Flint, the 10-year-old activist who called out Trump for not helping with the Flint Water Crisis. She and her cousin, Felicia Copeny, are helping kids in Flint to see the film by raising money on GoFundMe. They have already exceeded their $5,000 goal with raising $6, 492 as of February 1.
“This campaign is a part of the #BlackPantherChallenge,” Felicia Copeny wrote. “[I]t is so important that marginalized children see a representation of themselves, especially in a city like Flint, Michigan where the kids only see themselves in the media as victims of our cities water crisis.”