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Organization sponsors movie field trip for underprivileged kids

Posted by Vance D. Wyatt on April 4, 2018 at 3:55 PM

Organization sponsors movie field trip for underprivileged kids

By Gregory Harutunian For Chronicle Media — April 4, 2018

It started as an idea through the Lake County chapter of Black Lives Matter for school students, ranging in ages from 12-17 years old, giving them the chance for a free dinner and seeing a movie.


Their March 7 event gathered up 75 kids without the means of enjoying an afternoon out, and took them to the Gurnee Marcus Cinema for a screening of “Black Panther in 3-D.” It proved to be an unqualified success.


Coinciding with “Spring Break 2018,” the organization did it again March 26, this time with another 75 students from Waukegan, North Chicago, Zion, and the Round Lake areas. They also received a free box of popcorn and a soda. Waukegan School District 60 buses provided transportation to the Gurnee cinema for another free screening.


“We went and saw it, and thought this would be nice for kids that couldn’t afford to see it to do so,” said Clyde McLemore, one of the organization’s founding members. “This movie is phenomenal. The kids can get a bit of history, and knowledge of self. And with that, we’re hoping that it will lessen the violence in the neighborhoods that occurs, when these kids are out of school.



Kids stand by the door leading into the Gurnee Marcus Cinema to attend a free screening of “Black Panther.” (Photo by Gregory Harutunian/for Chronicle Media)


“When you have an entertainment vehicle like a movie that projects positive role models while celebrating African culture, African-American culture, their morals and belief systems, and knowing black ancestors were stolen from their homelands and brought to the land of the unknown … it’s empowering,” he said.


“Black Panther,” which opened Feb. 16, spent six consecutive weeks at the top slot in box office ticket sales.


The story revolves around T’Challa, who returned to his native homeland of Wakanda, following the death of his father, and takes his rightful place as king. When a powerful enemy reappears, T’Challa must rally allies to save Wakanda and the world by unleashing the power of Black Panther.


“It’s a great film and well worth the praise,” said Michael Kassin, manager for the Gurnee Marcus Cinema. “This isn’t the first time we’ve hosted kids from different schools for screenings. This is a good thing for our community at-large to have an opportunity to come together, join together … and have some fun.”


The afternoon-out adventure was not lost on the kids, either.


“This is a very empowering experience, and will make some good memories,” said Tamara Long, a Zion Central Middle School student. “It’s nice to be appreciated in this way. This is my first time being able to do something like this.”


In addition to Black Lives Matter and District 60, other sponsors included the Lake County and Waukegan housing authorities, Circuit Court Judge Charles Smith, State Rep. Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan), the Tenth District Democrats, Jim Neal, Adam Broad, Tamika Gray, Vance Wyatt, and Women of Faith.



Kids start to jump off the bus March 26, heading to Gurnee Marcus Cinema for a free movie. (Photo by Gregory Harutunian/for Chronicle Media)


“This is a really positive experience for the kids in our community, we don’t have field trips in school anymore, and that’s sad,” said Mayfield. “We need to get together and do more of these types of things to encourage kids to look beyond their environments and see the horizon.”


At a later date, Black Lives Matter will be conducting a forum called, “The Black Panther Challenge,” with a scholarship being offered to students making the best video about what they gleaned from the movie.


“Historically, the educational systems in place do not provide the knowledge of self,” said McLemore. “Young people are very important. Developing a well-rounded character can help make them leaders in the community, even now … something that will benefit them later in life. If we can offer one quality moment for a young person, it will be remembered, and hopefully, a positive impact to pass along.”



—Organization sponsors movie field trip for underprivileged kids–

Categories: Lake County Board