A crowdfunding campaign for kids in Harlem to see the Black Panther movie has been hugely successful. Black Panther, which comes out in February, is one of the more long-awaited releases in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Coming from director Ryan Coogler, who made the acclaimed Creed in 2015, it’s the first film based around the Marvel character Black Panther (played by Chadwick Boseman), following the superhero’s MCU debut during Captain America: Civil War. Black Panther is already going strong in early ticket sales, with its theatrical release just over a month away.
The upcoming film is also very important to large segments of the African-American audience, as the first superhero film of the modern era built around a black hero, with a black director as well as a cast that features Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett and Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya. It’s considered an important film for black youth, and now there’s a very successful crowdfunding effort in that vein.
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A GoFundMe campaign was launched this week to help the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem bring a group of children from that neighborhood to see the film next month. According to its site, that campaign has now earned nearly three times its $10,000 goal, bringing in close to $30,000 in just four days. The funding, according to the GoFundMe, will cover $13 per child ticket, $13 for refreshments, $17 per chaperone ticket, and $10 for refreshments for chaperones, with any remaining money raised going to the Boys & Girls Club organization.
The campaign, titled “Help Children See Black Panther” and spearheaded by Frederick Joseph, describes the film as “a rare opportunity for young students (primarily of color) to see a black major cinematic and comic book character come to life. This representation is truly fundamental for young people, especially those who are often underserved, unprivileged, and marginalized both nationally and globally…. I want these children to be able to see that people who look like them can be superheroes, royalty, and more.”
This is a positive effort. Representation, of course, is very important, and it’s very crucial for young people to see heroes on screen who look like them. Teaching children film appreciation, and encouraging them to actually go see movies in the theater, is key as well. And if Black Panther is anything like Creed, those children will be treated to a film of uncommon skill and artistry from one of our finest young filmmakers.
Just one question- $17 for adult tickets and $13 for children? Movie ticket price inflation, especially in New York City, is truly out of control. With the GoFundMe scheduling showings the week after the movie opens, perhaps Disney should step up and offer the Boys & Girls Club a free advance screening or two.
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