Since its creation in January, the #BlackPantherChallenge raised enough money to send 47,000 eager children to see the Marvel film. The initiative not only hit home for kids and their guardians who’ve yet to experience this magnitude of representation, but the moment has come full circle for one of its stars.
Lupita Nyong’o, who plays the fan-favorite Nakia, gave back to her parents’ homeland of Kenya by sending 600 school children to witness her and her co-stars in action.
“I wanted kids from my hometown to see the positive images reflected in the film and superheroes that they can relate to on the big screen,” Nyong’o said. “No matter where you live, you can help make this happen for more children who can’t afford to see the movie.”
I joined the #BlackPantherChallenge and sponsored 600 schoolchildren to watch the film in Kisumu, Kenya with my mother’s help. I wanted kids from my hometown to see the positive images reflected in the film and superheroes that they can relate to on the big screen. No matter where you live, you can help make this happen for more children who can’t afford to see the movie. Information for various GoFundMe campaigns is in my link in bio.
Echoing Nyong’o’s mission, Frederick Joseph, creator of the viral challenge, wanted to “provide an opportunity for young people to see themselves in a story.”
“To me, representation is one of the most important things that there is,” he told BuzzFeed News. “When I was growing up, the archetype, the stereotypes in the media of black people were typically negative, or if they weren’t negative, we had to exist in this realm of athletics or in this realm of, like, our historical figures, but when does that lend to other experiences?”
The film reportedly grossed $427 million globally since its debut Feb. 16.