The Chicago Black Panther Project

Growing up, I knew I was different.  I knew society wouldn't be accepting of my differences, so I found solace, encouragement, confidence, etc. in watching and reading X-Men comics.  It was the first time that I was able to relate to characters that were outcasts just for being born mutants.  But these were strong characters that stood up for people whether they were liked or not. The impact that those characters had on my life should not be underestimated.

Now, we've come to a point in time where these characters are being put on a movie screen with care, poise, significance, and an overall positive message that resonates with audiences.  For the first time (in a very long time) there is a movie that is prominently African American or African with characters that are not stereotypical.  They are characters that children can look up to in the fields of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) who happen to live in a fictitious African country.  A country that might exist if Africa wasn't colonized and exploited as a continent centuries ago.  That act rewrote the narrative of how Africans are perceived on a global scale.  They are not widely represented or celebrated for their wealth, thoughts, ideas, creativity, etc. This movie provides an entertaining format for children to see that narrative turned on its head. 

First, I want children to see that they are not alone.  Second, I want them to know that anything is possible if we refuse to set limits on ourselves. This includes them.  We all know that any success is preparation meeting opportunity.  I want them to look at themselves differently just as I did all those years ago with X-Men comics and a silly cartoon. I want to keep them preparing themselves so when an opportunity comes along, they are able to seize it. 

So I reached out to Micki LeSueur who helps run Coat Angels in Chicago.  http://www.coatangels.org  I knew that she would have connections to the schools in Chicago and people that we can talk to and trust. 

She suggested talking to Derrick Kimbrough and Kimberly Collier who are the Principal and Assistant Principal of the Nicholson STEM Academy on the south side of Chicago. It has a 95% Black Demographic with a 97.2% Low-Income Statistic. 

Kimberly Collier suggested this be an opportunity for their honor roll students and perfect attendance students.  It's a small portion of their population, but they do not often have opportunities to really celebrate their best students.  She believes this is an initial number of 250-300 students. 

Details are currently being worked out, but we'd like to provide a ticket, transportation, chaperones, etc. to these kids.  If we have extra money, perhaps we can get some popcorn and a drink for them.  Like I said, the hard numbers are still being worked out, but I wanted to get this out in front of people while the movie is still making headlines. 

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/glanton/ct-met-black-panther-dahleen-glanton-20180221-story.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t-M8AgSNdFA

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/12/magazine/why-black-panther-is-a-defining-moment-for-black-america.html

https://www.facebook.com/francismmaxwell/videos/378879162589527/

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  • Sam Bingham 
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    • 26 mos
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Organizer

Stephen Hnatow 
Organizer
Chicago, IL
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