YPSILANTI, Mich. (WJBK) - "Black Panther" is breaking new ground in the superhero genre. A black actor is in the leading role, and the rest of the cast is predominately black as well. Efforts are growing to make sure every kid who wants to see it can afford a ticket.
A few weeks ago, we told you about an Ypsilanti man who raised thousands of dollars so nearly 150 students from Ypsilanti Community High School can go see the movie. Jermaine Dickerson's goal was to raise $3,000 for the screening -- but ended up raising $10,000. That leaves thousands of dollars for the organization Hero Nation, dedicated to helping everyone discover the hero within while amplifying the voices of the marginalized.
"It's one thing to talk about representation," Dickerson says. "It is another thing entirely when you cultivate a space where people feel safe." Hero Nation is working to provide that.
The burgeoning group's founder Dickerson says it can do something different.
"That includes making sure someone that is both Black and queer, or Black and trans, or that people who occupy multiple intersections feel safe," he says.
The fancy word for this, is intersectionality.
Plainly, for the students exposed to Hero Nations events, it can be one small part of finding your voice.
"Having your own voice is big," says Bennie Williams, Ypsilanti High School student. "You can actually tell your personal experience about things and not living through other people."
"I think people should stand up to anything that they feel they should have a voice in," said another student.
Seeing a different type of superhero in a different type of experience.
"I want folks to have that sense of agency as they discover themselves through our events, through whatever it is we do," Dickerson said.
Friday, the children will also have exposure to an African Dance and Drum group.
Dickerson says he's working on his second comic convention soon.