Black Panther has already made a big impact at the box office, but some activists are using the movie to make an even bigger impact at the polls. Blavity reports that members of the Electoral Justice Project (EJP), an offshoot of the Movement For Black Lives, are going to screenings to get black people registered to vote.
“We know that for some it’s a superhero movie, but we know that the world we deserve is still waiting to be built — and we want to build it!” the leaders of the EJP, Kayla Reed and Jessica Byrd, said in an interview. “This upcoming spring and November 2018 midterm elections are an important step in building that new world, and we want to take every opportunity to engage our communities in the conversation of electoral justice.”
The group is using the hashtag “#wakandathevote” on social media to promote their movement. And the leaders say they are receiving a lot of support so far. They are even working on registering people who aren’t able to get to theatres to see the film. If people text the word Wakanda to 91990, the EJP will reply with helpful voter registration information.
The Black Panther screenings are just one action that the group is taking to register more black voters. One of their other projects will be a campaign manager institute called the Electoral Justice League.
“We intend to have 1,000s of conversations with black people as well build a fun and life-affirming political home that isn’t transactional, but transformational,” they said.
The Black Panther movie and its success have been heralded as a defining cultural moment. It’s the first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe with a lead black character and predominantly black cast. The film has already shattered box office records. Deadline reports that the Ryan Coogler-helmed superhero film has made $192 million over three days, and $218 million over four days, based on Disney’s estimates. But those figures are likely to change as time goes on with some industry estimates saying that the film could register $195 million three-day box-office take away and a $225.7 million four-day total.
The film stars Chadwick Boseman as the leader of Wakanda, a technologically advanced African nation that is facing upheaval after the death of the former leader. Creed’s Michael B. Jordan stars as his antagonist, Erik Killmonger.
According to Deadline, these history-making numbers mean that Black Panther is the fifth-highest opening ever on the three-day domestic list and has beaten Avengers: Age of Ultron ($191.3 million) on that chart. T’Challa, Shuri and the rest of the Wakandans have also topped Ultron‘s four-day box office haul of $204.4 million.