Calgary

Fundraiser sends hundreds of Calgary kids to Black Panther movie

Hundreds of black children and teens had the chance to see themselves reflected on the silver screen on Saturday.

'For the first time in a long time, we have a black superhero'

A GoFundMe sent hundreds of Calgary youth to a screening of 'Black Panther.' (Audrey Neveu/CBC)

Hundreds of black children and teens had the chance to see themselves reflected on the silver screen on Saturday.

A GoFundMe raised more than $5,000 to send youth to the superhero movie Black Panther

"In terms of the black community, we do not always see enough positive representation on the big screen," said Marion Ashton of the Sankofa Arts and Music Foundation, the group that started the fundraiser. 

"For the first time in a long time, we have a black superhero."

Marion Ashton is with the Sankofa Arts and Music Foundation, the group that organized the event. (Audrey Neveu/CBC)

The Sankofa Arts and Music Foundation is a non-profit that works to build healthy communities by providing youth of diverse backgrounds the chance to express themselves through the arts.

The fundraiser was part of the #BlackPantherChallenge, a movement that started in Harlem that raised money to send disadvantaged youth to see the film to celebrate Black History Month.

Organizers rented an entire theatre at Cineplex Odeon Westhills for the event. 

The movie focuses on T'Challa/Black Panther — played by Chadwick Boseman — the king of the fictional African country of Wakanda, a nation that's technologically and culturally advanced. 

Ashton said for her, the highlight of the movie are the "fantastic women" characters.

"They have very strong roles, very powerful roles," she said.

Eliane Uhuegbulem was one of the attendees at the screening. (Audrey Neveu/CBC)

Eliane Uhuegbulem was said the opportunity to see the movie was a meaningful one for her.

"It represents strength and that even minorities can have power," she said.

Kids and teens were accompanied by parents, members of the Calgary Stampeders and the Calgary police.

"We try to empower all youths so it's important for me to be part of this moment with them," said Const. Ahmed Shahein.  

With files from Audrey Neveu

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