By Briyana Kelly
I had the pleasure of connecting with Thornton Township to witness the debut of Black Panther with the community, Feb. 16 at Cinema 8 in Lansing. Royal purple carpets, wristbands, goodie bags with Black History Flashcards, including free snacks and beverages were gifted to the community members for their support in making the day great. The Movie theater was filled with love from the Elders, Generation X, Baby Boomers, and the Millennials who all seemed to take away the great message the movie had to offer which was “We are stronger united than we are divided”. Can you think of any significant way to spend black history month?
There were many other messages that were encoded but the message mentioned above was commonly received by the guest. I cried many times during the movie: tears of joy, tears of realization, tears of sadness, and tears of anger. Black Panther reminded me of my constant duty to the community, and Dr. Jamal Turner, the keynote speaker in theater one, spoke to us about his experience as a real life Black Panther. Thornton Township was thanked by many guests for doing such a wonderful thing for the community because they provided an opportunity, “To those who probably couldn’t afford movie tickets” as said by Jouhan Sawe, a Thornton Township community member and employee. Another guest, Jeanette Quin said “Everything was perfect. The movie, how the event was put together, and how smooth it flowed. We were right on time and I thank them for hosting the event.” It’s more than safe to say that the community is looking forward to more remarkable things happening in Thornton Township. I know I had a marvelous time dressed in full regalia, bonding with the people, and being of service to the community. Can’t wait to see what they have in store for the rest of the month, and I hope to see you at the next outing or social.