He's black. His suit is black. His family is black. His country is black. "Black Panther" is blackity-black-black-black. And it's about damn time.

To say people are excited for this film would be an understatement. It's outpacing every other superhero movie ever in early ticket sales and showings don't begin until February 15. It has the potential to be a cinematic game changer.

Other films have featured black superheroes, but "Black Panther" — with a blockbuster budget, black director, and a predominantly black cast — is in a league of its own.


That's why it's so important children, especially black children, get the opportunity to see the film on the big screen.

Children have known a black president, black athletes, and black performers. But they deserve to see every shade of black visibility — from real-life triumphs in American history to science fiction and fantasy legends. From kings and queens to heroes and heartache, the full gamut of blackness can and should be explored on screen.

Image via Marvel Studios.

So when an entire movie about a black superhero/African prince comes along, it's life-changing stuff for a child. No wonder some didn't even believe it was possible.

Need more proof?

These students from the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, just found out the whole school is going to see Black Panther. Their reaction can only be described as sheer joy.

A grassroots fundraising effort has raised more than a quarter of a million dollars to buy tickets for kids in need.

Marketing pro and philanthropist Frederick Joseph kicked off the initiative, raising more than $40,000 to take kids from Harlem to see "Black Panther." After his successful campaign, Joseph encouraged others to start their own fundraisers to help send even more children to the theater. People around the world stepped up to Joseph's #BlackPantherChallenge. So far, more than $260,000 has been raised from over 250 campaigns. This money will make it possible for thousands of kids to see the film for free.

"Many of us yearned for the chance to be Batman or Superman, but only if he was black," Jospeh wrote in the Huffington Post. “Black Panther” gives our children the chance to dream those dreams."

Celebrities like Viola Davis, Jemele Hill, Ellen DeGeneres, and Snoop Dogg have chipped in too, using their star power to boost fundraising efforts or launch their own.

Representation and visibility matter.

Seeing someone who looks like you on the big screen is a privilege many take for granted. But it's not lost on generations of black and brown kids who have waited patiently for the opportunity.

And, hopefully, given the early success of the film, they'll never have to wait again.

[rebelmouse-image 19533809 dam="1" original_size="400x166" caption="GIF from "Black Panther."" expand=1]GIF from "Black Panther."

Joy

Meet Eva, the hero dog who risked her life saving her owner from a mountain lion

Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva when a mountain lion suddenly appeared.

Photo by Didssph on Unsplash

A sweet face and fierce loyalty: Belgian Malinois defends owner.

The Belgian Malinois is a special breed of dog. It's highly intelligent, extremely athletic and needs a ton of interaction. While these attributes make the Belgian Malinois the perfect dog for police and military work, they can be a bit of a handful as a typical pet.

As Belgian Malinois owner Erin Wilson jokingly told NPR, they’re basically "a German shepherd on steroids or crack or cocaine.”

It was her Malinois Eva’s natural drive, however, that ended up saving Wilson’s life.

According to a news release from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Wilson had been walking down a path with Eva slightly ahead of her when a mountain lion suddenly appeared and swiped Wilson across the left shoulder. She quickly yelled Eva’s name and the dog’s instincts kicked in immediately. Eva rushed in to defend her owner.

It wasn’t long, though, before the mountain lion won the upper hand, much to Wilson’s horror.

She told TODAY, “They fought for a couple seconds, and then I heard her start crying. That’s when the cat latched on to her skull.”

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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy asked his Senate colleagues the questions millions of Americans have after a mass shooting.

Another school shooting. Another mass murder of innocent children. They were elementary school kids this time. There were 18 children killed—so far—this time.

The fact that I can say "this time" is enraging, but that's the routine nature of mass shootings in the U.S. It happened in Texas this time. At least three adults were killed this time. The shooter was a teenager this time.

The details this time may be different than the last time and the time before that, and the time before that, and the time before that. But there's one thing all mass shootings have in common. No, it's not mental illness. It's not racism or misogyny or religious extremism. It's not bad parenting or violent video games or lack of religion.

Some of those things have been factors in some shootings, but the single common denominator in every mass shooting is guns. That's not a secret. It's not controversial. It's fact. The only thing all mass shootings have in common is guns.

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Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


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