Local kids get chance to see new ‘Black Panther’ movie for free

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Some leaders in the local business community came together Saturday to offer kids a chance to see “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” for free.

Around 400 kids came out to see the new installment in the “Black Panther” franchise, which has had deep meaning for many people who have wanted to see a superhero who represents them.

“It was, like, such a cool experience! I’m so grateful that we’re able to get free tickets. It’s crazy. See how many Black students are out here? Like supporting and, like, it was ridiculous,” said Aliyah Mumba, an excited moviegoer.

The group of local business people who put on the free event says it was all worth it to see kids walking out of the theatre exclaiming, “Wakanda Forever!”

“It’s just another one of the things that we want to do for Albuquerque, where we get young, Black and Brown kids out and expose them to superheroes who traditionally don’t look like themselves,” said Charles Ashley III, one of the organizers.

Especially for girls, “Wakanda Forever” offers a chance for them to be represented.

Warning, Ailyah has a spoiler alert:

“It felt like it meant a lot to see a Black girl, not just a man, as Black Panther,” she said.

Ailyah and her friends say the movie encourages young Black girls to be comfortable in their own skin – and that’s exactly what organizers wanted.

“It’s great because then it’s not just the movie,” organizer Mike Silva said. “It’s all of the imagery, the characters, them seeing the African roots and seeing young people take pride in that.”

The movie is already getting rave reviews and fans are remembering the original Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman, who passed away in August 2020.

“This movie was, like, really sad. There were a bunch of hot twists in there and, like, I wanted to cry in some parts. It was just sad,” moviegoer Addison Love said.

A tearjerker, but also a movie that kids say ended in true Marvel fashion.

“But then the end was like, ‘Oh my God, that can’t be the end!'” moviegoer Jordisan Webb described in astonishment.

Organizers say they had such a big turnout for the event that they actually want to add a fourth showtime.