As of this writing, the campaign has generated more than US$36,000, even though its target goal was only $10,000. (The extra proceeds are being donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem.)
The GoFundMe fundraiser, titled “Help Children See ‘Black Panther'” and started by 29-year-old activist Fredrick Joseph, seeks to send approximately 300 Harlem kids to see the Marvel/Disney movie in Manhattan theatres and includes the cost of one ticket ($13), some snacks ($13) and an adult chaperone ($17, plus refreshments at $10).
“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,” reads the GoFundMe page. “This representation is truly fundamental for young people, especially those who are often underserved, unprivileged, and marginalized both nationally and globally.”
The campaign caught the attention of Star Wars director J.J. Abrams and his wife, who donated $10,000. Presidential daughter Chelsea Clinton also pitched in.
Just contributed to support @FredTJoseph’s effort to bring Harlem kids to see #BlackPanther. If you also believe representation matters & you’re able, I hope you’ll consider supporting, thank you: https://t.co/vaLO7JmEwl
— Chelsea Clinton (@ChelseaClinton) January 8, 2018
More than 700 people have contributed to the campaign.
“I knew I wanted to do something for the children, especially of Harlem, because it was a community primarily of colour,” Joseph said. “I said to myself, how can I get as many children as possible to see this film and see themselves as a superhero or a king or queen? Representation and inclusion are legitimately essential pillars to creating dreams for yourself.”
Black Panther has been a vital character in Marvel Comics for half a century, and Black Panther will be the first time he’ll be featured in a blockbuster movie. Starring Chadwick Boseman as the comic-book hero, the story features Black Panther (a.k.a. T’Challa) as he returns to his fictional homeland of Wakanda to reign as king.
WATCH BELOW: The latest Black Panther trailer
The supporting cast is bursting with talent: Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett, Daniel Kaluuya and Danai Gurira all have roles in the movie.
According to the film website Fandango, Black Panther has set a record for the best first-day advance ticket sales for any Marvel movie.
‘Black Panther’ opens in theatres across Canada on Feb. 16.