Campaign Goes Viral After Harlem Native Launches “Black Panther” GoFundMe Page

If you didn’t believe in the importance of media representation before, you’ll most definitely believe in it after learning about the small fundraiser that went viral.

Native New Yorker Frederick Joseph planned to give back to his community but he didn’t know what he would do. He finally decided on raising money for kids at his local Boys & Girls Club to see a movie. Joseph launched a GoFundMe page with hopes that he’d be able to send 300 kids to see the new Black Panther movie in February.

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Joseph’s original goal was $10,000 but after 5,000 people donated, he’s raised more than double the goal at just under $30,000 in four days. He could never have predicted that it would go viral. The page was shared by multiple Twitter users, requesting follower support with donations from  J.J. Abrams, Chelsea Clinton, and James Hill, ABC News reports.

It was recognized by people everywhere that the campaign is a cause worth supporting as the narrative of the new film could alter media representation forever. The Chadwick Boaseman play the black panther is a prince, turned king, and then a superhero.

Dominique Jones, the executive director of the Harlem Boys & Girls Club, told ABC there are upwards of 1,000 kids from multiple age groups actively in attendance at her club, and if the cause is contributed to at its present rate, they may all be able to go.

Jones referred to Oprah Winfrey’s esteemed speech from the Golden Globes in which she discussed Sidney Poitier’s receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award in 1982. “She saw that someone looked like her and other kids. When they see someone who looks like them, they see the unlimited possibilities. All of our beauty is on display,” Jones said.

In the same way, the experience of the new Black Panther film can set off a chain of events in a child’s life with its innovation. If a mogul’s career venture was induced by a moment that she witnessed on television, the possibilities are endless for the thousand kids that may see the movie.

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The amount of funds he was able to raise for a campaign he’d never expected to take off is like a phantasm for Joseph, and GoFundMe is hoping to expand it to other cities after the evident success.

If interested, you may donate or visit the link here.