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Black Business Leaders Pay Admission for NYC Students to See 'Selma'

More than 27,000 seventh, eighth and ninth grade students will be treated to free screenings of the movie

Thanks to the generosity of Black business leaders in the New York City area, nearly 30,000 seventh, eighth and ninth grade students will be able to view the critically acclaimed Selma for free.

Paramount Pictures announced today on its Facebook page that 27 donors have paid for students’ admission to various theaters around the city. Starting January 8 through January 19, students can show their ID or report card at one of 27 participating theaters to gain free admission to the Ava DuVernay-directed film.

“Martin Luther King, Jr.’s momentous journey in Alabama is an important piece of American history,” said Bill Lewis, co-chairman of investment bank Lazard. “We are passionate about bringing this story to New York City’s students, and we encourage business leaders in other cities to organize similar programs so that more students around the country have the chance to see this powerful film about an epic chapter in American history.”

The Facebook release also notes that multiple New York City organizations, including the Apollo Theater and The New York Public Library, will be screening the film and hosting discussions.

Selma, which recounts King’s monumental 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, is currently in limited release, but it opens in wide release this Friday. The film, its cast and its crew have already been nominated for Golden Globes and Critics Choice Awards.