“It is exciting to know that a movie like Black Panther can serve as an inspiration and a symbol of hope for my children,” said Janet Huger, principal of East New York Middle School of Excellence.
As the first-ever black superhero from the highly technologically advanced nation of Wakanda is about to open on the big screen nationwide later this week, Code & Content Academy (CCA), a Brooklyn-based nonprofit that offers computer science and coding workshops, wants to treat students from the East New York Middle School of Excellence (ENYESE) to see “Black Panther” at their local theater, the Linden Boulevard Multiplex Cinemas this Saturday, February 17.
“It is exciting to know that a movie like Black Panther can serve as an inspiration and a symbol of hope for my children. Children need to know that they matter and that someone out there actually cares about their future,” said the school’s principal Janet Huger. “To know that Code & Content Academy is taking the time to show that they are cheerleaders for the ENYESE team is a testament to their dedication and true community spirit.”
Code & Content Academy (CCA) is a Brooklyn organization that provides computer science and content creation curricula in underserved communities. By offering coding workshops and hackathons and by forming relationships with tech companies which mentor, sponsor and place students in internships, the organization is dedicated to unleashing the potential of future tech leaders.
CCA’s co-founder Sonya is a “techie” and cartoon fan herself who grew up with 70s cartoons; she religiously watched The Jetsons – because of the technology. As the co-founder of CCA, it is important to her that particularly students from underserved communities like East New York get to experience – and be inspired by – the first Black superhero from the highly technologically advanced nation of Wakanda.
“The idea is to take the youth from marginalized communities to see this film that is inspiring on so many levels! It features brown people that look like them, with accents that sound like where many of their ancestors come from, thriving on natural resources – a challenge in neighborhoods like East New York where there are food ‘deserts’ – utilizing the most advanced technology in the world,” said Sonya. “The youth will see this film, become inspired and realize that maybe they could be the one to make some of the technology in ‘Black Panther’ a reality. That anything is possible. The advanced technology aspect really speaks to what we are teaching in our classes about the importance of being technologically efficient.”
Within just two weeks after the idea was born to treat East New York students to see Black Panther, Sonya was able to exceed the minimum goal of 25 students, a number established by the school’s principal Janet Huger. As donations are still coming in with continued support from the community, the hope is to even take more well-deserving students than the initially expected count.
“We need to help kids connect the fictitious world of Wakanda to the reality that existed in antiquity for people of color,” said Chuck Creekmur, founder/CEO of Allhiphop.com. “So many people don’t realize that Africa contains the most advanced people ever, who so happened to be pillaged and colonized by outsiders. So, for me, this movie can serve as a seed that lets kids know that they have tremendous potential.”
If you would like to help that more children can attend the screening, you can purchase tickets directly from Linden Boulevard Multiplex Cinemas here. Please be sure to select the ticket for Saturday, February 17 at 12:00 pm EST noon. You can also donate and support the program through CCA’s website.