Getting local kids to see Black Panther

Liz Miranda, executive director of the Hawthorne Community Center in Roxbury, is raising funds to try to get up to 1,000 local kids to screenings of Black Panther during the February school vacation week.

Our withdrawal plan is to buy out at least 3 theaters and purchase as many tickets and food vouchers on three different days and work with community agencies, the City of Boston and schools to identify students/ young people to attend the screenings.

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Sigh, sorry about that

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And thanks - fixed. Guess I have to hit the control and C buttons harder when trying to copy a link.

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Why?

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A lot better things to donate to than Hollywood.

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If you have to ask...

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Sure, it'll benefit Hollywood, too. But maybe the main beneficiaries are kids in marginalized communities that will get to see heroes that look like them.

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Why not?

I donated, mainly because it's a film of empowerment that some kids might find inspiring.

Or was I wrong?

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Why not buy them the comic

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Why not buy them the comic book the movie is based on then as part of a literacy program which also encourages empowerment through good role models. Even if the role models are fictional.

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Right.....

Try selling that idea!

Hey, kids!! Would you rather all go see the Black Panther movie or would you rather all have copies of a comic book you can collectively read at your leisure?

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It costs more to read a story in comic books than see a movie.

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Comics are $4 a pop, minimum, and it will probably take 5 or 6 issues to tell a story. (Not that I would know or anything).

In the end it's just treating kids to one movie, it's not like setting a new entitlement program on the taxpayers dime. We should be able to send neighborhood kids to a movie without reverting into Grumpy Old Man mode.

Gonna be a loud theater though.

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What a great idea!

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Can't put it better than this, from a teacher at the Ron Clark Middle School in Atlanta, which is also taking kids to see Black Panther:

“The beauty of African traditions are woven into a sci-fi film with tremendous opportunities to have discussions about cultural and identity,” Susan Barnes, the art teacher at the school, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Furthermore, to see a black male lead as a superhero is very powerful for our students because traditionally superheroes have been white.”

While we can all see the obvious benefits of Black children and teens seeing a Black superhero, I think it's very important for non-Black students to see him, as well; it counterbalances the negative stereotyped Black characters that television and movies saturated pop culture with, so thoroughly that it has become the default image for Black men even outside of art and fiction.

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Of course there is a racial

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Of course there is a racial undertone to this that no one is mentioning. I wonder why? When they say city kids, they don’t mean the ones from Southie or Charlestown.

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Don't be coy

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Tell us what you really mean.

See the answer above as to why it might be a worthy goal for minority kids to see a movie that celebrates people who look like them, that shows them they can be something, too.

White kids get to see all the previous Avengers movies and, well, pretty much every movie - even the ones that are based on stories involving non-white people (like the Last Airbender and Ghost in the Shell). Don't worry, there'll be plenty more movies that feature white actors.

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Add to that

Most white kids I know have a theater mere minutes from most of their houses.

Any of those nice theaters with the nice reclining seats in Dudley? How about the Showcase Deluxe that serves the food to you like the one in Chestnut Hill? They have one of those in Grove Hall? Yet it's a ten minute bus ride to the Common AMC from Southie and a ten minute bus ride to the Somerville AMC from Charlestown.

See where I'm going here.....?

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Hold up there

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A black kid living by Dudley Square is a bus ride to the AMC Boston Common via the Silver Line. Were a kid in West Roxbury to go to their nearest movie theatre, it is further both in terms of distance and public transit access.

That said, this is a good idea, though the code of “city kids” does have me rolling my eyes. Heck, it’s just as good for black kids in the suburbs to see this, since it is a super hero who looks like them.

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Don't get out much eh?

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A kid from "Dudley" could walk to AMC Southbay if they wanted

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Guess you haven't been to

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Guess you haven't been to Charlestown in a while since it isn't really an Irish enclave anymore. Just take a walk up Bunker Hill Street...

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When he says kids from Southie and Charlestown

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Does he mean white kids? Have you ever been to these neighborhoods? There are easily as many brown and black kids in these neighborhoods, did you know that?

I think your code words are inaccurate in 2018. Maybe back in 1988.

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Whoever at Disney came up

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Whoever at Disney came up with this fundraising marketing campaign is a genius.

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Of course it's marketing.

The scores were high before anyone even saw the movie. Not that there's anything wrong with targeting a specific demographic, just like FUBU and BET and MickeyDs. But given the empowerment message they're trying to push, you'd think there'd be more pressure on Disney/Marvel to offer free community showings instead of, or in addition to, relying on local generosity, GoFundMe pages, etc.

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This is a PG-13 movie

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Is it really appropriate to be showing the city's kids?

And frankly having worked tangentially with teen programs, having 1,000 teens in the same place sounds like an epic liability issue.

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You're worried about PG-13?

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Seriously? I don't think they're talking about taking kindergarteners.

It's 1,000 people spread over three days, over several performances. But don't worry - Boston teens have proven they can do things in large numbers and not tear things down - especially when accompanied by adult chaperones.

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Yes, by all means....

Question the appropriateness of showing a film that screams black empowerment because it might be more horrible than being dragged into your house when the bullets start flying by your mother.

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That is not at all what I am saying

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I am saying that since

a) they did not specify the age of the kids going, and PG-13 either exposes kids to material that is inappropriate, or eliminates kids based on age, and

b) just because kids see awful stuff in real life does not mean that the adults they respect should set that as a standard. "These kids witness violence so now that bandaid has been ripped off, lets's show them more violence," does not at all jibe with modern psychology of childhood trauma and it's dismissive of their traumas to treat abnormal events as normal.

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I dunno

If all you white people think this is what black kids need, then more power to you.

I just never asked myself what Batman would do, nor have I ever thought of Batman in retrospect. His utility belt was neat. The Dark Knight got 94% on Rotten Tomatoes.

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Maybe provide them a way to

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Maybe provide them a way to earn their movie ticket. Then they see value for their work both in the completed work and the reward of the movie.

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You never asked yourself that

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You never asked yourself that because you got used to all comic heroes looking like you. Not all of us were that lucky. We notice when someone is like us.

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My heritage

My South African heritage has the sole badass Hollywood representation of Danny Glover revoking my diplomatic immunity.

I didn't get bummed out at all because it was Hollywood, much like a million black kids didn't start wearing capes and little pencil mustaches after Empire came out... because it was Hollywood.

Skin color may con color-led people into buying tickets, but I think the social payoff is going to be negligible. Speaking as an African-American who has direct experience, I would go as far as saying the free ticket is going to be the big takeaway here. I would have seen Lethal Weapon III if they gave me a free ticket.

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Synthetic Heritage

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Yeah, how did Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Will Smith and others get written out of "historic" history so soon? Is it just that pop culture has aged beyond them, and pop culture IS history now? In history, 1968 was a date that happened before I was born like 9-11, but in the pop history, 1968 was just yesterday and we're still marching today, get it? The day before that we were kings in Africa, and this movie connects all the dots! So the new wave of the 'blacking' of history goes beyond such implants as Kwanza, but implants an entire collective memory. Cardi B, that Dominican whose melanin passes the black girl magic test, knocked Taylor Swift out of #1, and so Cardi B is also an avenger in history now. She and everyone in school knows that being a ratchet professionally can lead to riches so that you don't even need to strip any more. So she's us, or some of us. And greater Egypt's latest, blackest dynasty will soon rise to lead us. We should take these free movie tickets from white people who pet us, and later, as our history continues to be revealed to us, we will regain our rightful place as kings of Africa in America. Anyway, I already have a Gucci belt.

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"People who look like you" ≠

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"People who look like you" ≠ People with whom you share a nationality

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Boy

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At first I thought this seemed like a nice project, but now that a bunch of white dudes have told me it isn't, now I know it is.

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Hmm..

I really don't know if it a good project or not. It is worth a shot, maybe.

Did Chinese kids get so good at math after Kato beat up the Green Lantern? If so then we are in for some real social change.

All I know is that after I saw Superman, my parents told me to not be a moron and jump off the garage roof because that is the movies and in real life white people cannot fly.

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I was kind of thinking the same thing...

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Is a FICTIONAL "superhero"of whatever race, with powers or abilities that actual people do not have, supposed to be a role model?

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It's not the role model thing

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Think Harry Potter - it's the idea of a complete fictional world that you get immersed in. Instead of a bunch of white kids fighting bad guys, it's a fictional world (well, country) of black people fighting bad guys. There's a message there for real-world kids who have not had many, yes, role models in popular culture.

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Would you know?

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Is a FICTIONAL "superhero"of whatever race, with powers or abilities that actual people do not have, supposed to be a role model?

Would you know? Have you seen the movie? Do you understand that empowerment is not always a direct, obvious, literal "this person looks EXACTLY LIKE ME and does EXACTLY WHAT I DO" thing? Have you lived in a culture where the strong, powerful, rich and respected people overwhelmingly do not look like you?

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The Truth

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Hopefully, the film doesn’t glorify the racist, violent, criminal organization that the Black Panthers is.

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Ooooh, tell us The Truth!

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Go ahead, Carmella! From the depths of your vast knowledge, tell us all about the Black Panthers! Provide citations, please.

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I think this is awesome for

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I think this is awesome for all kids -- no matter your ethnicity or gender. Let these kids have some fun!

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Representation is important

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Anyone who says it isn't, is speaking from a place where they've never lacked for it. I'm a grown ass woman and felt so vindicated and excited and thrilled watching the recent Wonder Woman, cheering when she triumphed and walking out of the theater so happy that there'd been no other shoe to drop, no moment with a panty shot or rapey threat by the villain. There's something so freeing about characters that look and feel like you getting real stories and being real characters, instead of walking talking shitty tropes that just parrot out the same shitty slog of problems you're living every day.

I hope these kids have a similar experience. Black Panther looks great and I can't wait to see it myself.

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Representation IS important

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but you're also overestimating the power of one single movie.

I'm also a grown woman and I personally don't like action movies. They usually have flimsy, mindless plots and pander to the lowest common denominator with "big smash go boom bang thwap!" I find this boring to watch and insulting to me as a consumer. I did not see Wonder Woman and here I am, still functioning and expecting equal treatment to men.

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Okay? Fantastic for you?

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Okay? Fantastic for you? The point of representation is not that every movie is enjoyed by every member of a subgroup, it's so that a subgroup can go to any given movie in a genre they do enjoy and see themselves in it

I like action and superhero movies, if I'm going to pay 15$ for a big screen and loud speakers at a theater I want to take advantage. They're dumb popcorn entertainment, predictable, more about spectacle - and that's fine, they're not trying to be art.

What sucks about a lot of other action movies is the female characters in them are even flimsier and mindless than the male ones, often put into situations where the prevalent violence turned is sexualized and tantalizing, where instead of cool slow mo shot of a dude spinning a car across a cliff or shooting a gun while falling off a roof, we get get a slow mo shot crawling up the woman's ass and boobs. It's demoralizing. Wonder Woman didn't do that, it was a great explosions and punches movie with awesome representation within the confines of that type of movie.

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Bottom Line

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If you like this idea and you have the means, contribute to the effort.

If you don't like it, take a pass and move on.

Those that can, do ... those that can't start pissing matches on the internet over trivial shit.

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Oh good lord...

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Oh good lord...

Middle aged white guy here chipping in. This looks like a great project and I am sure the kids will enjoy themselves.

A few years back my nephew decided Black Panther was one of his favorite characters and I remember it causing mumors "isn't that the character for the black children???" Some people just do not understand that a character can be both empowering for one group while still being appreciated by society at large. I look at Wonder Woman as another example.

I quite frankly am getting annoyed at all the bickering over comic book heroes and how expanding their reach beyond white boys is somehow a bad thing.

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I recently read a story about

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I recently read an article about a wonderful children's book author in Maine, Ashley Bryan, who writes books based around black children as the main characters. Apparently the local bookstores were apprehensive about carrying his books because they thought that there aren't enough black kids to read them. He was like "uhh my books are not just for black kids." Once he started winning awards for his books, the bookstore owners suddenly had a change of heart and started carrying them!

https://thetakemagazine.com/ashley-bryan-artist/

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Ever read Ezra Jack Keats?

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Like everyone else, I started with the Snowy Day. Great book. Great story, like most (though not all) of his work. Coincidentally, most of the characters Keats gives us are African American. That said, anyone can enjoy them. That's the key- presenting a story with characters who look like some of the people who read them (who traditionally are not seen in children's books) while presenting a story that everyone else can enjoy.

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I dream of a day when someone

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I dream of a day when someone can post about doing something nice for black kids (or black people in general) without white people getting all butt-hurt. I honestly can't tell if people are just trolling or are actually that out-of-touch.

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