Representation matters. And seeing powerful images of Black folks doing amazing things on screen definitely matters, especially when you’re a child.
So when a video of students at the Ron Clark Academy celebrating the news they’ll be seeing Marvel’s Black Panther went viral, it wasn’t a surprise. Their excitement was contagious, and it caught the eye of the film’s star Chadwick Boseman.
Boseman stopped by ABC’s The View to chat with Whoopi, Joy, Sherri, and the crew, to talk about the impact of the film.
“The message is that it works to have a Black cast,” he said, rejecting the notions that Black films don’t do well overseas. “It works that our stories can resonate, not only in this country, but throughout the world.”
Boseman also explained that inspiring the next generation is what it’s all about for him.
“That’s why you do this. That’s the reason why you, for me, it’s one of the reasons why I get up in the morning and I do what I do,” he said after watching the children’s joyous celebration again. “There’s actually a couple of kids that I’ve connected with while I’m shooting Black Panther and would literally, when I was tired, I would just think of them.”
The students at Ron Clark Academy aren’t the only ones who’ll be journeying to Wakanda. Thanks to the folks participating in #TheBlackPantherChallenge who raised more than $400,000, tens of thousands of children across the country will get to see the film for free.