Black Panther screening with fraternity encourages unity

Omega Lamplighters before the Black Panther screening on Feb. 16. 
Photo credit: Ulysses D. Jenkins

With the highly anticipated release of  the Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther,” several organizations hosted screenings including The Chi Omega Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.

In celebration of unity amongst the black community, The Chi Omega Chapter sponsored over 100 youth and families to celebrate the film's release on Feb. 16 at Regal Governor's Square 12 theater complex.

The president of the Chi Omega Chapter Royle King said the event was to bring youth and families together in the community.  

“Once we told people what we were trying to do with bringing the youth together, they bought into it,” King explained. “Tonight’s event is about bringing together community youth and families for a night of fun, and to help celebrate this strongly led film featuring African-American heroes.”

Based on the Marvel Comics superhero Black Panther, the film was directed by Ryan Coogler, who is known for directing Fruitvale Station and Creed. Coogler is also the first African-American to direct a Marvel film.

“Black Panther” showcases a world where cultural unity and the uniqueness of different tribes in Africa contribute to the country’s impressive advancements. The king who acts as the protector and regulator of the policies within all the tribes is a key element that is emphasized through the Black Panther, who is portrayed by Chadwick Boseman.

Mother and daughter after the Black Panther screening on Feb. 16
at Regal Governors Square 12 theater complex.
Photo credit: Jaclyn Harold

Leading women in the film Ramonda, portrayed by Angela Bassett, Nakia, portrayed by Lupita Nyong’o and Okoye, portrayed by Danai Gurira, present the characteristics of strength and leadership among women as spies, warriors and royalty.

The Black Panther takes on the role of king after his father dies and leaves him to decide whether tackling the issue of worldwide black oppression is worth exposing the resources of Wakanda and jeopardizing the safety of his people.

When the Black Panther chooses Wakanda over the world, it backfires. Erik Killmonger, who is portrayed by Michael B. Jordan challenges the Black Panther for the throne. The reality is both Killmonger and the Black Panther want to protect and provide despite their different methods of achieving the task.

Many guests were draped in African garments, head wraps and crowns, and as they exited the theater once the screening was over, a sense of pride followed them. Families lined up to take pictures in their kitenge clothing. Smiles overtook their faces as they placed their black pride fists in the air.

Godby High school senior and Omega Lamplighters member O’Shard Constable, who attended the screening said the film displayed a great deal of memorable moments.

“The movie was great,” Constable said. “I think they made a lot of references to what’s going on in the world today especially with the differences between races.”

Ulysses D. Jenkins, a parent liaison to the Omega Lamplighters, said that the film lived up to the hype discussed about the releasing of “Black Panther.”

“I thought it was important to bring the children to see something that enhances the way they see other people like themselves,” Jenkins said once the film ended. “It was also powerful for them to be able to see that they come from kings and queens and not just the regular stereotypes they’re used to.”

King, who emphasized the importance of unity, relates to the Blank Panther’s words in the film. “We will work together to be an example for how the people of the world should treat each other. We should work as if we are all from one single tribe – Wakanda Forever,” Boseman said as the Black Panther.