A free “trip” to Wakanda for 172 Grand Strand kids

Grand Strand

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – It’s the opening weekend for the highly anticipated superhero movie “Black Panther” and nearly 200 Grand Strand children will get to see the movie for free.

The Marvel Comics film is expected to bring in about $200 million in this weekend’s box office. It already brought in more than $25 million on its opening night Thursday.

A Myrtle Beach group is joining a national movement to get free tickets for kids so they can see a superhero who looks like many of them.

Grand Strand Action Together is helping 172 kids and 24 chaperones see “Black Panther” for free. The film takes place in a fictional, futuristic African nation called Wakanda.

It stars Chadwick Boseman from Anderson, South Carolina, as Prince T’Challa.

“Some kids are going to be able to see the first black superhero they can relate to,” said Precious Thomasson, who is one of the kids seeing the movie for free.

“It’s going to show them that they can do anything they want to do,” said Ashlyn Preaux, a co-founder of Grand Strand Action Together. “There’s no limits. For the white children that see this too, it’ll be more normal for them and they’ll see that everyone is equal.”

In about a month, Grand Strand Action Together raised about $1,600 to rent out an entire theater at the Grand 14 in Market Common. The kids will even get a free snack.

The kids are from a bunch of groups including Ebony’s Hope, which helps domestic violence victims.

“I come in contact with children who have a sense of hopelessness,” said Gwen Reed of Ebony’s Hope. “This movie teaches our children that there’s hope.”

It’s part of a national movement called #BlackPantherChallenge to help young people of color who might not be able to see the movie. It was started by a New York City philanthropist named Frederick Joseph.

Joseph tweeted Monday that #BlackPantherChallenge is the largest GoFundMe for an entertainment event in the site’s history.

“I am just grateful that we get to do this for them,” Thomasson said. “I think they are going to be super excited to come out and just see a movie for free.”

Preaux says Grand Strand Action Together may also try to get free tickets for another showing of “Black Panther” or “A Wrinkle in Time,” which comes out next month.

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