“I will be in [Mississippi] when this movie opens,” Spencer wrote on Instagram. “I think I will buy out a theatre in an underserved community there to ensure that all our brown children can see themselves as a superhero.”
More than 200 grass-roots campaigns have sprouted up in communities worldwide. And one of the most prominent social forces leading up to Friday’s official opening of the film has been the hashtag campaign #BlackPantherChallenge.
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I will be in MS when this movie opens. I think I will buy out a theatre in an underserved community there to ensure that all our brown children can see themselves as a superhero. I will let you know where and when Mississippi. Stay tuned. #KingsAndQueensWillRise #blackpanthermovie
Frederick Joseph, a New York-based philanthropist, launched the Black Panther Challenge last month as a GoFundMe campaign. The 29-year-old marketing professional initially sought to raise $40,000 to help children in Harlem see the movie.
Joseph said he felt moved to act because of the film’s positive black representation, as opposed to the negative archetypes and stereotypes he saw in media and entertainment while growing up — as well as the racism he experienced at age 8 when wearing a Batman costume, he told BuzzFeed.
His challenge has spawned more than 400 GoFundMe drives that have raised more than $400,000, according to the website — including donations from Coogler’s fellow Disney filmmaker, J.J. Abrams, as well as Chelsea Clinton, Viola Davis, Ellen DeGeneres (who pledged $10,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem) and journalist Jemele Hill (who worked with the Detroit Lions and the Detroit Free Press to set up a Detroit screening).
Thanks to you, the #BlackPantherChallenge became the largest GoFundMe in history for an entertainment event.— Frederick Joseph (@FredTJoseph) February 12, 2018
Then you raised $300k, enough to buy tickets for over 23k children.
NOW...you’ve raised over $400k around the world, enough to send over 30k children to see the film! pic.twitter.com/4JVzBHTwtg
This week, T.I., who is featured in Marvel’s “Ant-Man” films, teamed with Walmart for a free “Black Panther” screening for children in Atlanta.
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Our friends at @CapCityBFF have accepted the @theheavierthings' @gofundme #blackpantherchallenge to send 200 youth in #Austin to see @blackpanther. Let's make this happen! Shout out to #ryancoogler @chadwickboseman @lupitanyongo @michaelbjordan @im.angelabassett @sterlingkbrown @MarvelStudios Donate (link in bio)
Civilians, including some columnists of color, have noted that they’re donating to the cause, too.
The entertainment site Rotten Tomatoes is running a list of GoFundMe campaigns to help children see “Black Panther” in scores of American cities.