Local dad raises money for Boys and Girls Club kids to see Black Panther


Last year brought Wonder Woman to theaters, a film with a strong female lead, directed by an acclaimed female director. Now, another big-budget actioner is set to bring box office bucks to a diverse cast and crew of filmmakers.

Someone's ensuring a certain group of young Middle Tennesseans gets to take part in the moment.

Jennifer Wheeler Buhrman of the Boys and Girls Club said an environment of inspiration and encouragement is what they give every day.

"One of our key values is providing positive adult role models for our kids," she said.

She added someone's just stepped up to help in a major way.

"I've been a comic book fan my entire life," said local dad Corey Johnson. "I grew up reading Batman and Superman. Whenever I imagined being a superhero, I didn't necessarily have the images of people who looked like me."

Johnson saw an opportunity to give to the Boys and Girls Club on the marquee of coming movie releases.

Marvel's Black Panther is a superhero epic in the Avengers universe with a cast of strong black characters, written and directed by a black filmmaker.

"It maybe will inspire them to write a story like this of their own one day," said Johnson. "I think it's very monumental to see a major character who looks like them. I think people of color have not been really well-represented when it comes to the comic book world."

Through GoFundMe, he raised $3,500 to pay for a screening later this month so 170 Boys and Girls club kids can see Black Panther.

"This gives our kids an opportunity to see themselves on the screen, to see themselves as a superhero," said Buhrman.

"It is cool seeing a black superhero," said Boys and Girls club student Dyna'C Davis. "There's really not a lot of black superheroes."

"It's not every day you see the first black Marvel superhero," added student Cortez William Rucker.

"It's inspiring me to make my own movie," said student Paul Boyd.

Johnson said whether inspirations are people they know or characters on screen, he just wants kids surrounded by heroes.

Johnson's GoFundMe page can be found at https://www.gofundme.com/84ggwtf8. Johnson said he's leaving the page up for now with the hope of raising enough to also get tickets for children with Big Brothers, Big Sisters as well.

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Multimedia Journalist

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