Frederick Joseph believes it is important for underprivileged children of color to see superheroes who look like them, so he decided to make sure they do.
What "Wonder Woman" did to empower girls, New Yorker Frederick Joseph is hoping the new Marvel Studios movie "Black Panther" will do for young children of color — and for that reason, he is determined to make sure as many of them as possible see the film.
The 28-year-old marketing consultant is not a father yet, but he is excited about "Black Panther" — which will hit movie screens next month — because the movie features a black superhero, T'Challa, who returns to his home after the death of his father to lead as the humble king of the fictional African nation of Wakanda.
The star of the new Marvel Studios film "Black Panther" is T'Challa, the humble king and hero of a fictional African nation called Wakanda.
Frederick Joseph wants as many young children of color as possible to have the chance to see a story about a superhero who looks like them.Marvel Studios.
Joseph calls the release of "Black Panther" a "rare opportunity for young students (primarily of color) to see a black major cinematic and comic book character come to life."
"This representation is truly fundamental for young people, especially those who are often underserved, unprivileged, and marginalized both nationally and globally," he wrote on Twitter.
Joseph decided to start a Go Fund Me campaign last week to raise enough money to send 300 children from the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem to see the movie.
"It's my opinion that inclusion and representation really are fuel for children to dream — not just to dream, but to dream big," he told TODAY Parents.
"It's important that young people see themselves in roles they couldn't even imagine... for a little girl to see herself as Wonder Woman, or for a young child of color to see himself as the leader of Wakanda.
"I knew I wanted to do something so that I can give that opportunity for representation to an underrepresented group," he said.
In just five days, the campaign made over $30,000, three times more than its goal, thanks in part to donations from Chelsea Clinton and screenwriter and director J.J. Abrams ("Star Wars: The Force Awakens") and his wife, Katie McGrath.
The money will be used to pay for children and their chaperones' movie tickets and refreshments.