The #BlackPantherChallenge raised $260,000. Here’s what it is and where the money’s going.

He’s black. His suit is black. His household is black. His country is black. “Black Panther” is blackity-black-black-black. And it’s about damn day.

To say people are aroused for this film would be an understatement. It’s outpacing every other superhero movie ever in early ticket sales and shows don’t start until February 15. It has the potential to be a cinematic game changer.

Other cinemas have featured black superheroes, but “Black Panther” — with a blockbuster budget, black director, and a predominantly black cast — is in a league of its own.

Image via Marvel Studios.

So when an entire movie about a black superhero/ African prince comes along, it’s life-changing stuff for small children. No wonder some didn’t even believe it was possible.

Need more proof?

These students from the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, just found out the whole school is going to see Black Panther. Their reaction can only be described as sheer exhilaration.

A grassroots fundraising endeavour has raised more than a one-quarter of a million dollars to buy tickets for children in need.

Marketing pro and philanthropist Frederick Josephkicked off the initiative, raising more than $40,000 to take kids from Harlem to find “Black Panther.” After his successful campaign, Joseph encouraged others to start their own fundraisers to help send even more children to the theater. People around the world stepped up to Joseph’s #BlackPantherChallenge. So far, more than $260,000 has been raised from over 250 campaigns. This fund will make it possible for thousands of kids to see the cinema for free.

“Many of us hankered for the chance to be Batman or Superman, but only if he was black, ” Jospeh wrote in the Huffington Post . “Black Panther” gives our children the chance to dream those dreams.”

Celebrities like Viola Davis, Jemele Hill, Ellen DeGeneres, and Snoop Dogg have chipped in too, employing their star power to boost fundraising attempts or launch their own.

Representation and visibility matter.

Seeing person who looks like you on the big screen is a privilege many take for granted. But it’s not lost on generations of black and brown kids who have waited patiently for the opportunity.

And, hopefully, given the early success of the movie, they’ll never have to wait again.

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