Starting Thursday night, the much-anticipated superhero movie Black Panther will be released in theatres across Canada. (Its official release date is Friday.)
The hype for the Marvel/Disney film has been deafening, and while millions are clamouring to get their tickets, many young kids, especially those in marginalized or impoverished communities, may not be able to afford them.
After raising over US$40,000 on GoFundMe to take Harlem children to see Black Panther in theatres, New York resident Frederick Joseph launched the #BlackPantherChallenge. He called on others to start a GoFundMe in their community to take more kids to watch Black Panther. The GoFundMe community has answered the call.
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“We’re seeing a big fundraising push internationally with the goal of covering the cost of seeing the movie for those who wouldn’t otherwise have the means,” wrote GoFundMe spokesperson Dea Masotti Payne in an email. “To date, over 400 GoFundMes have raised more than $400,000 as part of the #blackpantherchallenge. Nine-thousand people have donated from over 30 countries.”
Canadians are answering the call, making sure that every child who wants to see Black Panther gets that chance. Here are some of the GoFundMe #blackpantherchallenge movements taking place across the country.
All proceeds will be donated to Empowerment Squared to send kids to Black Panther for free, to support their homework help program as well as funding additional recreational programs.
A team of young adults from Ottawa is working to organize a free screening of Black Panther for kids of The Boys And Girls Club held at a local movie theatre. They’re hoping to reach a minimum goal of 200 kids at the screening.
Marc Taylor realized that Black Panther will be making its cinematic debut during Black History Month and had a vision of it being used as the powerful instrument of change. He and his family and friends have committed to taking 100 youth or more to see the movie for free in Windsor, and they want to continue helping other similar campaigns and groups to take youths in their cities from coast to coast.
This campaign is working with the Jane and Finch Boys and Girls Club to organize a Black Panther fundraising event. All proceeds will go to paying for the private screening tickets for children and chaperones, as well as refreshments. (The screening will take place on Feb. 17.)
Also in Toronto, on Feb. 15, Bangarang bar is throwing a party with a pay-what-you-can at the door fundraiser to send youth from Nelson Mandela Park School to see Black Panther. They’ll be donating 10 per cent of the bar’s sales for the night, in addition to 50 per cent of the sales of their drink special. In the meantime, they’re fundraising online to maximize their success.
The Black Youth Action Plan “5 to 25” campaign is fundraising to take Barbadian children to see Black Panther at Olympus Theatre at Sheraton Mall in Barbados on Feb. 24.
Black Lives Matter Edmonton is partnering with The Come-Up to send 100 black youth to see the film. They’ll be providing African and Caribbean catering, a photo booth with props, an after-party with a community-driven panel discussion, an art showcase and an African and Caribbean drumming and entertainment to celebrate Black History Month.
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Sankofa Arts and Music Foundation aims to break barriers and change lives. They’re excited to be partnering with the greater Calgary community to help 300 kids see Black Panther.
Quentrel Provo, founder and CEO of Stop the Violence in Nova Scotia wanted to help create an opportunity for 200 black youth, to see and experience the film with time afterward to reflect and discuss their thoughts on how it made them feel.
‘Black Panther’ opens in theatres across Canada on Feb. 16.
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