LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ)- Movies are powerful. They entertain, make us think, and make us feel valued. A Lexington community leader took advantage of that power Saturday. He took as many young African American men as he could to see the new “Black Panther” movie.
“We just felt like the movie was empowering, especially for young minorities,” Lexington hip hop artist and mentor, Devine Carama, said.
People across the country are noting it as more than just a popular movie. It has a black director and a majority African American cast, portraying black people positively as superheroes.
“As a kid growing up, Batman and Superman none of them looked like me so when I heard about the movie coming out, I was like, ‘Wow, this is amazing,'” Carama said.
After seeing the movie, nine-year-old Brycen Connors said, “It felt like I was actually in the movie.”
“There’s a lot of white characters in there, I mean a lot of white characters in a lot of movies so I liked this one because it had half of the cast was black characters,” Sam Valentine said.
Carama says he loved the emphasis on unity, a theme he is trying to instill in the boys in his mentoring program.
The experience also covered self-worth, another value he wants the boys to grow up with.
“If you turn on the news or turn on TV or turn on music and everyone that looks like you is a criminal or doing something wrong you kind of internalize that, but when you see positivity and superheroes that look like you it kind of makes you feel like you can do anything,” Carama said.
A grant from State Farm helped cover the movie tickets. Carama said many of the young men at the movie theater were also recipients of coats donated during a 48 hour outdoor performance he did.
There is a man who has started an online challenge to give kids who would not otherwise be able to see the movie the chance to go. It is called “Black Panther Challenge“.