COUNCIL FACILITATES ‘BLACK PANTHER’ SCREENINGS FOR Council partners with City schools to organize special showings of hit film

Wilmington, Del. (February 27, 2018) – City Council this week is partnering with schools throughout Wilmington to facilitate special showings of the critic-acclaimed film ‘Black Panther,’ the newest iteration of the Marvel comic series that carries a powerful message that is resonating with youth and adults alike across the country.

Council sponsored private screenings at Penn Cinema on the Riverfront to allow close to 1,000 students attending schools in Wilmington to see the film. As part of this educational initiative, all student participants have been asked to write a short reflection on the film – focusing on what the movie meant to them, or discussing a character in the film that resonated with them.

Participating students hail from Bancroft Elementary School, Bayard Middle School, Eastside Charter School, Nativity Preparatory School, Elbert-Palmer Elementary School, Pulaski Elementary School, Stubbs (Frederick Douglass) Elementary School, Warner Elementary School, and institutions based in the Community Education Building.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to facilitate these showings for young men and women throughout Wilmington,” said Council President Hanifa Shabazz. “While entertaining, this film also has an important underlying message, and it is one we want our youth to receive. It has also generated a reinvigorated sense of cultural pride that is inspiring.”

The Black Panther character depicted in the film was first created in 1966, and this Marvel hero is the latest to move from comic books to the big screen. The film weaves the tale of King T’Challa, who returns home to the reclusive, technologically advanced African nation of Wakanda to serve as his country’s new leader. However, T’Challa soon finds that he is challenged for the throne from factions within his own country. When two foes conspire to destroy Wakanda, the hero known as Black Panther must team up with C.I.A. agent Everett K. Ross and members of the Dora Milaje, Wakandan special forces, to prevent Wakanda from being dragged into a world war.

The film has garnered significant national attention, as well as positive reviews from critics who point to the deeper messages contained within the entertaining film. According to The New York Times’ Manhola Dargis, the film uses the issue of race “to explore larger human concerns about the past, the present and the uses and abuses of power. That alone makes it more thoughtful about how the world works than a lot of mainstream movies, even if those ideas are interspersed with plenty of comic-book posturing. …in its emphasis on black imagination, creation and

liberation, the movie becomes an emblem of a past that was denied and a future that feels very present.”

President Shabazz noted that Council’s facilitation of these screenings falls in line with the City Council Strategic Planning Process – specifically, Council’s commitment to supporting positive youth development in line with the recommendations issued by the CDC related to the prevention of youth firearm violence in Wilmington.

These special screenings for City youth were also sponsored by The Buccini/Pollin Group.

Council will be sharing some of the reflections written by students who see the film in the coming weeks.

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