‘Black Panther’ star hosts special screening for Newark children

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NEWARK -

Newark children were treated to an advanced screening of the latest movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe saga – “Black Panther.”

Former Newark resident and “Black Panther” star Michael B. Jordan was on hand for the special premiere at the CityPlex movie theater Tuesday night.

The cast and many viewers say that the movie is important because of its portrayal of African-American characters.

"For me, to have a movie that I’m extremely proud of that’s going to mean so much culturally to these kids or people of color period,” Jordan, 31, said.

Jordan was raised in Newark and attended Arts High School. He invited kids and teenagers from the school, along with local mentoring organizations to the premiere.

“I’m just like them. I’m from the same streets, same buses, same trains. Walked the same blocks, and if I can do it they can do it,” Jordan said.

Jordan’s parents and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka also attended the special event. They say that they are proud to give back to the community and to view a film that celebrates and highlights African themes and positive images.

"To have a movie where we are predominant and out there, very deliberate and purposeful, is amazing,” the mayor said. “It means the world is diverse and we can be superheroes as well.”

“Black Panther” has already gotten rave reviews and has broken records for the amount of advanced ticket sales.

“The fact that we’ve already broken records in the box office before it’s even released, in terms of pre-ticket sales, it’s used to show the power and influence that the African-American community has in the box office,” says actor Guyviaud Joseph.

The film opens nationwide Friday, Feb. 16.

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