#WakandatheVote uses popularity of ‘Black Panther’ to register voters
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Marvel’s latest comic-based movie “Black Panther” has turned into a political movement for some of its viewers.
The Movement for Black Lives organized the #WakandatheVote initiative as part of a larger campaign by the Electoral Justice Project to help get potential voters registered. The group is now turning to the premiere of “A Wrinkle in Time” next weekend to continue encouraging moviegoers to register to vote.
The campaigns are led by activists Jessica Byrd, Kayla Reed and Rukia Lumumba.
#WrinkleInTime premieres next week. Like young #MegMurray we have plans to save our families from the darkness. Join us as we #WrinkleTheVote so we can #BeAWarrior at the polls! Text WARRIOR to 91990 to get started pic.twitter.com/UzLmRhR67u
— Mvmt 4 Black Lives (@mvmt4bl) March 2, 2018
Black Panther is the third-highest-grossing Marvel superhero film of all time and brought in $411.7 million after just 11 days in theaters.
“There’s going to be a large number of folks in the black community so you want to encourage them to get involved and connect the needs of our community in the larger beings of the film,” Reed said of the #WakandatheVote initiative in an interview on Tuesday.
She said the registration drives are an opportunity to change the way the African-American community is engaged around electoral issues in non-presidential election years. She said they’ve seen a surge of people participating in elections.
“Our hope is that we can really push this idea that political can be personal, that it’s not weird to talk about these issues in public places,” Reed said.
The project collects information from the registration drives including how many people they were able to register. They initiative has hosted more than 100 registration drives since it started.
Reed said the feedback has been “incredible’’ and that the beauty of Black Panther is people stepping in their power to be “change makers.”
Many Black Panther fans took to social media to express their excitement about #WakandatheVote
— Goutam U. Jois (@goutamjois) February 24, 2018
— Kayla Reed (@iKaylaReed) February 21, 2018
Have you heard of #WakandaTheVote?
Activists are taking advantage of the still very long lines outside screenings of Black Panther to work to increase black voter registration.
I was in Brooklyn Heights tonight, where the hundreds outside the theater were blown away by the idea. pic.twitter.com/pb3oz9Zu0L
— Henry Rosoff (@HenryRosoff) February 21, 2018
Marvel Studios and ABC News are both owned by Disney. A Wrinkle in Time is produced by Walt Disney Pictures.
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