News / Edmonton

Community organizes private Edmonton screening of Black Panther for 100 Black youth

A GoFundMe campaign called Help YEG Youth See 'Black Panther exceeded its original goal in less than 24 hours.

Chadwick Boseman in a scene from &quotBlack Panther, " in theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.

Marvel Studios

Chadwick Boseman in a scene from "Black Panther, " in theaters on Feb. 16, 2018.

Black youth in Edmonton are getting the chance to see a Black superhero in a majority Black cast film just in time for Black History Month.

A GoFundMe campaign called “Help YEG Youth See 'Black Panther'" reached its goal of sending 100 Black youth to the screening of the movie within 24 hours.

“Our vision was really to have an entire space of African and Caribbean people watching this amazing movie and have the opportunity to see Black representation, Black excellence and positivity that we don’t generally see in social media . . ., in our school systems,” said Belen Samuel, a youth coordinator for YEG - The Come Up, a youth organization that is part of the Africa Centre.

The screening is part of a local series called ‘Melanin Narratives,' designed to showcase art that tells “what it means to be African, of African-descent, Caribbean, and how we celebrate it in a really meaningful way," Samuel explained.

She added that the screening is a great way for youth to see “what our true stories are, what our true accomplishments are and reflect who we believe ourselves to be.”

Samuel says they got in touch with Bashir Mohamed from the Edmonton Chapter of Black Lives Matter, who set up the GoFundMe page that raised $2,872 in less than a day, exceeding the original goal of $2,726.

“I’m pretty humbled,” Mohamed said.

“I thought that it would take a bit longer so I’m really happy . . . it really shows that people care about this cause.”

Their original goal of the event was to send 50 youth, but that goal was met within a few hours of posting the campaign, after which they decided to add 50 more.

Similar campaigns have been held across the United States and in Toronto, which is where Mohamed says they got the idea from.

Samuel says the organization is working with junior high and high schools to choose the 100 youth to attend the screening. They will be giving youth three questions to answer in order to qualify to attend:

1: Why is Black History Month important to you?

2: Why the screening of Black Panther is important?

3: How their involvement would demonstrate that they are or want to become Black Panther?

The event is being held at Cineplex Odeon South Edmonton on Feb. 19. The screening will also include African and Carribean food, a panel discussion after the movie and African drumming and entertainment.

Tickets for anyone else who wants to come to the event are available here.  

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