HARLEM, Manhattan — On the list of 2018’s must-see movies, “Black Panther” reigns supreme.
And a New York man wants to make sure a key demographic doesn’t miss out on the African superhero’s exploits: kids of color.
Fredrick Joseph has started a GoFundMe campaign so kids in Harlem, New York, can go see the movie when it comes out next month.
And thanks to some big name celebrities, the “Wakanda Forever!” campaign is growing faster than a speeding bullet.
“I knew I wanted to do something for the children, especially of Harlem, because it was a community primarily of color,” Joseph, 29, told CNN. “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,” he added.
Within 10 days, the campaign has tripled its original goal of $10,000. More than 700 people have donated including Chelsea Clinton, director J.J. Abrams and ESPN anchor Jemele Hill.
The money will go toward purchasing tickets and refreshments for the children and chaperones. Anything left over will help support the Boys and Girls Club.
“You don’t have to have a lot of money to make change,” said Dominique Jones, executive director of the Boys and Girls Club of Harlem. “I really think that Fredrick is the real example of a superhero.”
“Black Panther” has been one of Marvel Comic’s most vital characters for 50 years. The film adaptation stars Chadwick Boseman as T-Chala (a.k.a. Black Panther) as he returns to Wakanda (hence the campaign name) to reign as king.
Joseph has also partnered with GoFundme to make a difference outside of Harlem. They’ve launched the #BlackPantherChallenge to encourage similar drives in other communities.
Ten campaigns created using the #BlackPantherChallenge sign up page will receive a $100 donation from GoFundme to support the cause.
“The children are the future. It starts with them,” Joseph said. “We’re just vessels trying to make a change.”