‘Black Panther’ Go Fund Me campaign to take Harlem kids to see film goes viral

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By Miles Marshall Lewis

‘Black Panther’ GoFundMe Proves That Representation Matters

Black Panther opens February 16, the latest link in the everlasting chain of superhero movies from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But this one’s a little different. With African-American director Ryan Coogler and a nearly all-black, all-star cast—including Chadwick Boseman, Angela Bassett, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Forest Whitaker and Sterling K. Brown—this Hollywood adventure of the African king T’Challa (a.k.a. Black Panther) battling the forces of evil is unprecedented. Advance ticket sales have already outpaced the pre-sales records of all previous Marvel movies, so a Star Wars-level fanatical frenzy seems imminent. Marketing professional Frederick Joseph decided to take matters into his own hands to make sure young black kids don’t miss out, with a superheroic act of his own.

Last Friday, Joseph launched a crowdfunding initiative on GoFundMe in order to raise $10,000 for children from the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem to catch Black Panther on the silver screen. In six days, donations have totaled over $39,000. The astonishing buzz generated by Joseph’s crusade (see #BlackPantherChallenge across all social media) includes celebrities contributing their own dollars, among them director J.J. Abrams, Chelsea Clinton and ESPN anchor Jemele Hill. Under executive director Dominique Jones, the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem serves over 1,000 children between the ages of 6 and 18. Their overarching goals include instilling academic excellence, positive community involvement and personal health and wellness values in the youth. Through Joseph’s campaign, the Harlem branch of this national organization will send its youngsters to see reflections of themselves in next month’s highly anticipated winter blockbuster.

“We’re committed to making sure that our kids see themselves in a positive light,” says Dominique Jones, “and see their future by exposing them to people that look like them who are doing amazing things. That’s all a part of our DNA as a Club. Frederick Joseph is just emblematic of that. It’s what we’re trying to show our kids every day: that it’s about service, community, building your skills and your confidence to be able to affect change. Those are the qualities that we wanna develop, but we also want our kids to feel powerful. And that’s what Black Panther is gonna be about.”

Naturally, the Boys & Girls Club of Harlem has been blown away by Joseph’s campaign, and the generosity of over 1,100 donators. Black Panther represents the rare opportunity for black youth to be inspired and entertained by an African superhero, to directly relate to a major player in the Marvel superhero universe who looks just like them. Though the Falcon (Anthony Mackie) filled the sidekick role in the bygone sequels to Captain America, and War Machine (Don Cheadle) occupied a similar function in the Iron Man films, Black Panther is full-tilt black magic. Set in the Afrofuturistic wonderland of Wakanda (a fictional African nation), the film also serves as a corrective to all the twisted notions Hollywood has offered up of the Motherland over the years.

The “Help Children See Black Panther” GoFundMe can be contributed to here.

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THE HOMECOMING QUEEN – January 10th – February 11th

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World Premiere Play
Directed by AWOYE TIMPO
Atlantic Stage 2, 330 W 16th St

A bestselling novelist returns to Nigeria to care for her ailing father, but before she can bury him, she must relearn the traditions she’s long forgotten. Having been absent for over a decade, she must collide with her culture, traumatic past, painful regrets, and the deep, deep love she thought she could never have. Atlantic is thrilled to welcome Ngozi Anyanwu (Good Grief) for her Off-Broadway debut!

“Anyanwu offers distinctive but universal characters and a bleak yet comforting outlook on the human condition that hint at a long future!” – The Hollywood Reporter


Please note that the codes are good for previews ONLY (1/10 – 1/21), based on availability.

Activate Your Dreams

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Harlem High End Designer Tag Sale

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New Year, New You!

A new beginning is just around the corner and our New Year, New You guide has everything you need to help you bring in a balanced, healthy and revived 2018.


Mindful Harlem | Through mindfulness and meditation practices, this community hub creates joy and effective engagement by exploring the collective wisdom and resources of our diverse and colorful neighboorhood.  READ HERE

I Have A Dream Workshop | Start the year off right with an intensive workshop designed to help you access your dreams. Led by DREAMLEAPERS founder and motivational coach Harriette Cole, you will participate in a meditation exercise followed by vision boarding.  READ HERE

Harlem Churches | Nothing feels better than your spirit being renewed. Check out some uptown gospel as you start off 2018 centered on God.  READ HERE


Harlem Chi Community Acupuncture | Aches and pains got you down? Need something more than a pill or a salve can handle? Take a holistic approach!  Harlem Chi uses Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine to address a variety of health and wellness concerns.  READ HERE

Harlem Cycle| In Harlem’s 1st bicycling studio, they pay attention to all the details with a focus on one thing:  providing the best classes possible. Get your summer body in gear at Harlem Cycle!  READ HERE

Cohen’s Fashion Optical | See and be seen in style! Featuring a large selection of designer eyewear, Cohen’s Fashion Optical comes correct with the latest styles for the whole family.  READ HERE

Harlem Center for Aesthetic Dentistry | Bring in the new year with a brand new smile! Utilizing the latest innovations in braces for people of all ages. Dr. Robertson uses these technologies to shorten and perfect the orthodontic process.  READ HERE

Harlem YMCA | Conveniently located in central Harlem, membership is affordable and programs are plenty for Harlemites seeking classes and workshops on social responsibility and healthy living.  READ HERE

More health/fitness options:


Download the Experience Harlem app for guides and promotions to help you live your best and healthiest life in Harlem!

New Year’s Eve at Vinateria

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Once on this Island

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Swing with us at Dizzy’s in the New Year

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Help for the Holidays

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By Kysha Harris, Food Editor, @SCHOPgirl

Image courtesy of Cupcake Queen Raven

Happy holidays from all us here at Experience Harlem! We know the big day is creeping up on us. After that Indian summer, we thought there might be a mild winter. Alas, ole man
winter seems to want to be giving us a white Christmas now. Are you ready? No? Neither are we! So to help all of us Experiencers out, we have compiled some of the Harlem chefs and
food makers that will help you shine as bright as the star on the top of your tree.

Let us begin with our fearless food editor, Kysha Harris (a.k.a. me, kysha@schopnyc.com). She has been cooking for busy urban professionals for going on sixteen years now. One of
her personalized home cooking packages makes the perfect gift those culinarily-challenged loved ones in your life. She also offers event planning and in-home catering packages.

As the Talent Manager for Harlem EatUp!, I was introduced to a bevy of talented Harlem chefs serving everything from that good “laissez les bons temps rouler” N’awlins food to
modern American food. These chefs are not playing.

You will never, ever see Vaughn Moore of Mere’s Viola
Catering (violassweetdelights@gmail.com) not dressed to the nines. His fashion is just an indication of the amount of detail he puts in his food. From boudin to baking, Vaughn will
give you that bead throwing, Zydeco playing, Mardi Gras good time.

One can fall love with food of Darshellia Butler of Skillet Rose
(darshellia.butler@yahoo.com) at first sight. It is some pretty, pretty food you cannot stop looking at to eat, but once it hits your mouth…baby…it tastes even better. With her signature
hair, Chef Butler is giving you rock-n-roll food with jazz hands. Get into it!

There are more Harlem food makers who can make your holiday season a little easier like Adolis Tesfamariam of Lovely Rita (adulis77@gmail.com) who will soon be opening in
Harlem. And for those holiday sweets, Raven Palmer of Cupcake Queen Raven (cupcakequeenraven@gmail.com) and Lynee Jordan of Granapoos Creations (lyneejordan@live.com) will deliver the perfect holiday ending.

For more awesome Harlem holiday ideas visit our 2017 #ShopHarlem Holiday & Events Guide.

Shop local. Eat local. Celebrate local. Christmas in Harlem!

Kysha Harris is a food writer and editor, culinary producer, consultant and owner of SCHOP!, a personalized food service in NYC for over 15 years. Follow her on Twitter and
Instagram, @SCHOPgirl, on Facebook, /SCHOPnyc, and her blog, www.talkingSCHOP.wordpress.com.

Urban Professional Mixer: Holiday Party with a Purpose

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Urban Professionals Mixer – Holiday Party with a Purpose
Urban Professionals Mixer
3rd Annual “Holiday Party with a Purpose”
Wednesday, December 13th
637 West 50th St. New York, NY 10019
6:00pm – 11:00pm$30 online payment 12/7 – 12/13, (noon cut-off)
$40 at the door.
Complimentary Hors D’oeuvres Provided
Drink Specials All Night
This year, our mission and a portion of our profits are for not one, but TWO causes – fighting Prostate Cancer and Hurricane Relief efforts in the Caribbean! And yes, we are doing the annual Toy Drive! (Optional: Bring an unwrapped toy to cheer up a pediatric patient at the Sydenham Clinic in Harlem)
Over 1,500 Metro New York area professionals expected. Take advantage of this opportunity to connect with multiple black professional organizations at one of our premiere events!
Hosted by:
Black Data Processing Association (BDPA)
Haitian American Lawyers Association of New York (HALANY)
National Association of Black Accountants (NABA)
National Black MBA Association (NBMBAA)
National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
New York Empire State Medical Association (NYESMA)
New York Urban League Young Professionals (NYULYP)
One Hundred Black Men (OHBM)