Lowell, Massachusetts has been my home since 2010, when I moved here to go to UMass Lowell. It is home to 110,000 people from all walks of life.
Many, if not the majority, of the people here are immigrants or children of immigrants and a large portion of that population are people of color (POC). Recent statistics of racial demographics of the city puts all people of color (Hispanic/Latino, Asian, Black, Mixed and Other) at a combined 48%. The top two demographics being our Asian friends...from Southeast Asian, primarily from Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, and our neighbors who are Hispanic/Latino, primarily from Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Central America.
If you know me at all, I call myself a Lowellian AND a fan of superheros (no matter what universe, DC or Marvel etc.) especially POC superheros.
After many many decades of white men dominating the superhero movie franchises, we finally FINALLY get to see black people as the forefront, the main character(s) of the movie, instead of as side kicks and/or villains.
The latest MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) movie "The Black Panther" stars Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther/T'Challa, the heir apparent of fictional African nation of "Wakanda". You can preview his MCU appearance in 2016's Captain America: Civil War, staring Chris Evans (Steve Rogers/Captain America) and Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron man) and the like.
My goal with this GoFundMe is to raise money for the children of color in Lowell who will finally get to see an ENTIRE CAST of POC, with a black man being the center and lead character. I am raising this for children of color specifically, to whom, representation is important. I am raising this money for the children of color who might not have the funds to go to the movies, as that is an expensive luxury these days.
As a South Asian woman who grew up in a very white environment, I never got to see POC in mainstream television or movies.
I know how important it is to see someone who looks like you on screen, as i didn't have that much during my childhood. I'd like to see some happy kids (with their parents) see this movie of sheer black excellence and finally be able to say "look, the superhero looks like me!"
Thank you especially to Mr. Frederick Joseph, the man who initially started this trend of raising money for children to go see Black Panther, with #BlackPantherChallenge. Also, what better month to raise money and for a film like this to premier other than #BlackHistoryMonth!
Check out Mr. Joseph as well as Ellen Degeneres and Mr. Chadwick Boseman up here, promoting Mr. Joseph's #BlackPantherChallenge ^^
Obviously, this amount of money will not cover the cost of every child in Lowell but I hope to impact at least some of them.
It'd mean a lot to me and to the children if you could even donate a couple of $, whatever it takes. If you aren't able to, even a share will be great.
UPDATE: Currently in talks with Big Brothers Big Sisters here in Lowell to get tickets going for their bigs and littles...will continue to update as we plan! Thank you to Masada Jones!!
Thank you so much and hope to see you at the theater too :)
#BlackPantherChallenge #BlackLivesMatter #BlackHistoryMonth
- Ashley Griffin
- Owens Skalak
- Harrison Sherrer
- Timothy Weber
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