Black Panther: Wakanda Forever Special Screening for Kids in Hamilton Helps Break Black Stereotypes


For the first time in five years since moving from Dubai to Canada, Abdullah and Sophia Allamy were able to take their five children for a family outing – a special big screen screening of Black Panther 2: Wakanda Forever.

« It was our first time to the movies, all of us as a family, » Sophia said of Saturday’s event, adding that having three children under the age of five makes it difficult to plan outings.

Abdullah and Sophia Allamy surprised their five children with a morning at the movies – watching Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. (Submitted by Ian Macpherson)

This was all possible thanks to Empowerment Squared, a Hamilton nonprofit that supports racialized, marginalized and new Hamiltonians, and paid for the tickets and snacks. About 120 people, mostly families with children, attended the Saturday morning screening at the Landmark Cinema in Jackson Square. Families grabbed popcorn as traditional African drums sounded.

Leo Johnson, founder of Empowerment Squared, said that Black Panther the movies are meant to be fun, but there’s also an important message – they start conversations about how black people are portrayed in the media.

« A lot of black families have long seen themselves negatively stereotyped, » he said, adding that the Black Panther the films show black people in a « different light ».

Olohigbe Asikhia brought her seven-year-old son Jay and three-year-old daughter Joy to watch the film.

A black mother and her two young children stand in front of a Black Panther: Wakanda Forever poster, arms folded across their chests - a salute that is done in the film.
Olohigbe Asikhia brought her children, Jay, seven, and Joy, three, to attend the screening. Asikhia immigrated to Canada five years ago after working as a flight attendant for a decade. (Submitted by Ian Macpherson)

Jay said his favorite parts of the movie were watching the fight scenes, seeing Black Panther in his costume, and having popcorn.

Asikhia said her children seeing black superheroes on the big screen was important.

« We have a preconceived image of what heroes look like, » Asikhia said. “So to see our culture showcased, the richness of our culture, is an incredible experience.

« For them to see it… It’s a way to reconnect with our culture and our ancestors. »

Johnson said black children need to see themselves represented in the media, and it’s equally important for children who aren’t black to see black people in the roles of heroes and scientists, as shown in the Black Panther movies.

“We need to let black kids and newcomer kids start believing they have the same opportunities as all other kids, and more importantly non-black kids as well, to start undoing the negative stereotypes that have been created. in society, » Johnson told me.

« The diversity of appreciating other cultures »

Before the film aired on Saturday, Johnson led an African drumming circle to welcome visitors to the theater.

« There’s nothing more appropriate for what we were doing than opening with African percussion, » he said.

A black man plays a traditional African drum in front of a blank movie screen.
Leo Johnson, founder of Empowerment Squared, the non-profit organization that hosted the screening of the film, led a drumming circle before the film began. (Submitted by Ian Macpherson)

Asikhia said: « Where we come from [in Nigeria], this is called the talking drum. The talking drum is an old traditional way of singing to the ancestors.

« I really appreciate a little showcase of culture and the diversity of appreciating other cultures, as well as the unity and blending of all cultures together. »

For more stories about the experiences of Black Canadians — from anti-Black racism to stories of success within the Black community — check out Being Black in Canada, a CBC project that Black Canadians can be proud of. You can read more stories here.

(Radio Canada)


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