Black People Rent Theater For ‘Black Panther’ Movie To ‘Talk Back To The Screen’
Sam Fulwood III, a writer at ThinkProgress, recounted how he and his African-American friends rented a theater for a showing of the blockbuster “Black Panther” during its massive $215 million-dollar weekend in Washington D.C.:
I watched the movie with several of my black friends and colleagues — affectionately, we refer to ourselves as “Kinfolk” — who rented out a theater because we wanted to experience the movie as a group. We wanted to cheer on the heroes and heroines, to boo at the villains, to laugh out loud and talk back to the screen.
As one of the movie-outing organizers Christina Henderson explained to me afterwards, those who attended wanted to make viewing Black Panther an unapologetic black event, where everyone could be themselves without any disapproving stares or shushing from other movie patrons.
It’s not clear who exactly the “other movie patrons” might be, but Daniella Gibbs Leger of the Center for American Progress (owns ThinkProgress) also attended the screening and said:
There was something special and magical about seeing this movie with not just any group of friends, but a theatre full of black folks. I’m sure it is something that is hard to understand if you’re not a person of color, but to see such glorious multifaceted representation of yourself on the big screen is so amazingly rare. It was a moment that I needed to share with my people.
Black Panther was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby — not people of color — in Fantastic Four #52 in 1966.
Rejane Frederick, an associate director for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at American Progress, reportedly tweeted:
Black [America]…is saying ENOUGH, dismantling dominant racial narratives, and forcing the status quo to change in ways that will bring us closer to a Wakandan-esque state of being.
Kayla Reed, Jessica Byrd and Rukia Lumumba of the Electoral Justice Project (EJP told the news site Blavity that they are launching a voter registration drive at several “Black Panther” screenings around the country, which they are calling #WakandaTheVote.
Byrd and Reed told Blavity:
The Movement for Black Lives is an ecosystem of black leaders and organizations fighting every single day for the healthy and happy lives of Black folks.
We are effective because we meet our communities where they are, whether that’s in the streets, at the city council meeting, or in the movie theater.
This weekend we wanted to meet our people in Wakanda. We know that for some it’s a superhero world, but we know that the world we deserve is still waiting to be built — and we want to build it!
This upcoming spring and November 2018 midterm elections are an important step in building that new world, and we want to take every opportunity to engage our communities in the conversation of electoral justice.
We will be registering people to vote at movie theaters across the country so that we can #wakandathevote at the ballot box.