If there is any doubt about how culturally deprived black people feel in this country with all the hurtful stereotypes and the lack of positive images, consider this crazy fund-raising campaign that raises legitimate questions about our priorities.
A Queens marketing executive has launched a GoFundMe page to raise money for Harlem kids to screen “Black Panther,” the highly anticipated Marvel film about a superhero African prince.
“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,” Frederick Joseph wrote on the fund-raising page.
“This representation is truly fundamental for young people, especially those who are often underserved, unprivileged, and marginalized both nationally and globally.”
Joseph’s initial goal was to raise $10,000 to send 300 students from The Boys and Girls Club of Harlem to the nearby Magic Johnson Theater for a screening next month after the movie’s Feb. 16 release.
Joseph broke down the costs of tickets, refreshments and chaperones, and set what he thought was a reasonable target.
Chadwick Boseman in a scene from “Black Panther.”
Within days, the fund-raising site went viral, and the campaign raised nearly three times its initial goal, with support from Chelsea Clinton, film director J.J. Abrams and ESPN host Jamele Hill.
Joseph is now urging volunteers in other cities to duplicate the effort.
The money left over from the Harlem drive will be donated to support programs at The Boys and Girls Club, Joseph said.
“Thanks to all the amazing support, I am announcing the #BlackPantherChallenge,” Joseph tweeted Wednesday. “ I’m challenging you to start a @gofundme to buy tix for kids in your city to see Black Panther!”
Disney-Marvel, which is already raking in millions in advance ticket sales, should screen the film in Harlem and other communities for free so the money raised to see the film could better serve the students.
While Joseph and his supporters should be applauded for their heroic mission, they and the rest of us should not forget the heroes at home and in the classroom responsible for these children’s education.
It was only a week ago that former Jets linebacker Aaron Maybin, a teacher at a Baltimore elementary school, drew attention to another GoFundMe page seeking donations for space heaters, gloves and hats because the school department couldn’t achieve the basic goal of providing heat for students trying to learn during the coldest days in decades.
“This is unacceptable,” Maybin said in a tweet.
So are classrooms that constantly require teachers and parents to dig in their own pockets to pay for pencils and papers. Students also shouldn’t be hungry when they are navigating the core curriculum.
Lupita Nyong’o (from l.), Chadwick Boseman and Danai Gurira in a scene from “Black Panther.”
Here’s an idea: Disney-Marvel, which is already raking in millions in advance ticket sales, should screen the film in Harlem and other communities for free so the money raised to see the film could better serve the students.
As for the rest of us, we need to raise money for more productive pursuits.
Certainly, if we can go online to collect cash for kids to see a movie, we can launch a website to buy books and backpacks.
Source: Ny Daily News