Nova Scotia

'Simply amazing': Plan to take black youth to Black Panther aims higher

A crowdfunding effort to take black youth to the upcoming Black Panther movie has redoubled its efforts, and now aims to buy 400 tickets.

Crowdfunding contributions reached the goal in a day, so the organizer is doubling down

Quentrel Provo, the founder and CEO of Stop the Violence, began the crowdfunding effort to take children to the Black Panther movie. (Shaina Luck/CBC)

What began as a project to take a small group of black youth to a movie has grown beyond Quentrel Provo's biggest expectations.

Provo, the founder and CEO of Stop the Violence, wanted to take some black youth from the Halifax area to see the upcoming superhero movie, Black Panther.

The film is the first Marvel superhero movie to feature a predominantly black cast. Excitement over the representation of black characters has spurred many groups in Canada and the United States to work to get tickets into the hands of black youth. 

"I was thinking on a smaller scale, 20 or so, but then I saw all the things that were going on in the States, renting out the movie theatres and I was like, 'Well, we can do that here,'" said Provo. 

Provo started a crowdfunding campaign aiming to raise $3,500 to take 200 children to the movie. After one day, he had blown past his target and raised $3,620, so he upped his goal.

"I reopened it, and I said, 'Why don't we double down and take 400 youth?'" he said Saturday. "It was just simply amazing. I'm so thankful for every single person that donated or shared or retweeted. You're going to make it a reality."

Black Panther is set in a fictional country called Wakanda, a hidden, technologically advanced African society that was never colonized. (YouTube/Screenshot)

The Black Panther character was created in the 1960s, but is relatively unknown compared to other characters. Provo grew up watching Batman and Spiderman, but didn't know about Black Panther until the recent movie. 

He plans to schedule a viewing in about two weeks where he will rent two movie theatres, and provide popcorn and a drink to each of the young people who attend. The viewing will be for kids only, to create an atmosphere that will allow them to openly share their thoughts after the movie.

Provo said after the movie is over, there will be a discussion led by some local black role models, and he hopes the kids will leave inspired.

Black Panther opens in theatres on Feb. 16, 2018. (Marvel Studios)

"It was just the impact, the lasting impact that it's going to have on these youth," said Provo.

"A little simple donation is going to have a lasting impact and this movie could be life-changing for one of these youth. And if you can just change one life, that's a big accomplishment."

As much as he's hoping the youth will be inspired by the movie, Provo is quick to note that black heroes are already all around them.

"They see them every day, in their families, people that they have around them that they look up to. Those are the real heroes in their lives," said Provo.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shaina Luck

Reporter

Shaina Luck is an investigative reporter with CBC Nova Scotia. She has worked with local and network programs including The National and The Fifth Estate. Email: shaina.luck@cbc.ca

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