Black folks from the inner cities took their kids in droves to see “Black Panther” and were a driving force behind the record sales for the movie. The community helped the movie — which featured the first all-black cast in a superhero major motion film — crush previous barriers and outdated notions about the financial viability of black faces on Hollywood screens.
Now, its only right that Disney pay back the people of color who supported its record-smashing Marvel project to the fullest.
Disney said Monday it would donate $1 million of the proceeds from Black Panther to STEM programs at the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. The donation is in line with one of the movies key themes: how technology can empower young people from marginalized communities.
Thank you @Disney for the generous $1 million grant donation to the @BGCA_Clubs in honor of #BlackPanther. I hope that the STEM program expansions in Boys and Girls Clubs will empower more #Shuris! https://t.co/zVXvFiSJsQ
The nytimes.com says Many of the technologies in the film are invented or controlled by Shuri, the sister of TChalla, the Black Panther and Wakanda king. Shuri, 16, plays a similar role to Q from the James Bond films, providing her brother and the kingdom with vibranium-powered vehicles, weapons and other innovations.
The movie inspires people of color on so many levels and Shuris genius capacity for inventions can expand beyond fantasy with these types of donations.
Walt Disney Company, Robert A. Iger, said in a statement:
Its fitting that we show our appreciation by helping advance STEM programs for youth, especially in underserved areas of the country, to give them the knowledge and tools to build the future they want.
The $1 million pledged by Disney is only a drop in the bucket in comparison to the money that the film has brought in. In less than two weeks in theaters, Black Panther made more than $700 million worldwide, making it one of the fastest grossing films ever.
The Boys & Girls Clubs of America, a federated organization with independent clubs in cities around the country, said the money would be used to create new STEM innovation centers in 12 cities. (The acronym stands for science, technology, engineering and math.) Those cities include Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis, Washington and Oakland, Calif., where the director of Black Panther, Ryan Coogler, was born and where some of the film takes place.