“There are so many aspects of a human life — and joy has to be one of them.” Frederick Joseph’s #BlackPantherChallenge campaign raised over $800,000 for kids to see the Black Panther movie for free.
Frederick Joseph: There are so many aspects of a human life — and joy has to be one of them. I’ve been getting tons of horrible messages on Twitter, calling me all sorts of names and saying I’m raising money for the wrong things. There goes another.
I’m just looking at my messages. People are just … Oh.
You know, I really see this as a major step forward in the making of art, costumes, with music, the set design, the cinematography. These were women. These were people of color. These were people from underrepresented groups. Kids are seeing that. It’s a movement we started online to take kids around the country to see ‘The Black Panther.’
Tarana Burke: Oh! Did you start that?
Frederick Joseph: Yeah. 38,000 children now, $500,000 raised.
Tarana Burke: That’s so amazing.
Frederick Joseph: I went. There are so many people who are about to see this film. And hopefully, it’ll show them that there’s these layers and nuance to the black experience. And it’s phenomenal. So hopefully, the kids that are seeing the film for free tonight, they’ll see that as well.
Friend: So you wanna wear it that way.
Frederick Joseph: It’s gotta be draped over the shoulder. Yeah, yeah. No, no, no. Around the neck, bro. You gotta tie it tight.
Friend: What? I’m thinking about the way he had it in the movie just now.
Frederick Joseph: Nah, the way Akunga had it.
Ready to see ‘The Black Panther?’
Frederick Joseph: You gotta be louder than that. You ready to see ‘The Black Panther?’
Frederick Joseph: Alright, alright. So first of all …
These kids who are struggling, who are in need deserve to smile. The real reason why this is such a big deal is because we don’t have stories. And the goal is really to amplify voices, and really create a platform and pipeline for these storytellers. I feel like that’s my mission. I grew up Christian. And I went to a Catholic college. The common denominator tends to be, “Do the right thing.”
And they need to keep on doing work like this. It’s beautiful. ‘The Black Panther’ to me, it shows Africa as this rich, boisterous, regal, advanced, beautiful, amazing place. And yes, we were colonized and ravaged. But if you let us be who we were meant to be, we’ll be the greatest things on earth.
Music: Who you call on when you need the most? And when they call on you, will you leave them ghost?