It’s imperative for children to see an image of themselves accomplish great things on screen but this simple yet complex virtue isn’t prevalent in the media, which is why New York resident Frederick Joseph took it upon himself to raise funds so that kids from Harlem can watch Black Panther.
The highly-anticipated Marvel film enlisted some of Hollywood’s finest like Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, and Chadwick Boseman. Joseph started a GoFundMe page to raise a total of $10,000 so that children who are part of the Boys and Girls clubs of Harlem can see the Ryan Coogler-directed film.
“The release of Marvel’s film the “Black Panther” is a rare opportunity for young students (primarily of color) to see a black major cinematic and comic book character come to life,” Joseph wrote on the GoFundMe page. “This representation is truly fundamental for young people, especially those who are often underserved, unprivileged, and marginalized both nationally and globally.”
At press time, Joseph raised a whopping $42,015. Now, he’s started the #BlackPantherChallenge, a fundraising initiative on a national level so that children all over the country can see the film at no cost. Seventy campaigns have started nationwide, and donations have come in from all 50 states and 15 countries. In total, a reported $75,000 has been made.
GoFundMe has also created a centralized page so that anyone, anywhere can create a campaign for kids in their region to watch Black Panther. Celebrities like Snoop Dogg, Jemele Hill, and Chelsea Clinton have all been supportive of the campaign.
“All children deserve to believe they can save the world, go on exciting adventures, or accomplish the impossible. I am grateful that all of you have answered the call and are taking action to help more kids watch their heroes on the big screen,” Joseph said in a press release emailed to VIBE. “Let’s keep pushing forward. If you’re a teacher, buy tickets for your entire classroom. If you’re a coach, take your team. If you’re a community leader, do some organizing and get the kids and parents in your community to the theater.”