Hundreds of CPS students treated to free screening of ‘Black Panther’

CHICAGO -- Chicago Public School students who have shown leadership in their communities were invited to free screenings of Marvel's box office hit "Black Panther."

Chicago Cypher, a Chicago-based collective of artists and entertainment professionals who work together to promote diversity in the film industry, partnered with Black McDonalds's Operators Association (BMOA) and actor and comedian Craig Robinson, to give over 400 tickets to view the movie Monday.

“The movie was awesome. I loved it and I'm glad it came out right Black history month. It was very encouraging to me," Myiesa, one of the students who went to see the movie, said.

“We want to bring a diverse and inclusive community of creatives and leaders into the same space to engage collectively around a film ‘for the culture’ that portrays black characters in a positive light opposing historical barriers and stereotypes,” Troy Pryor, founder and president of Creative Cypher, said.

Students who attended also had the opportunity to hear from a panel of African American entertainment professionals about the entertainment industry.

Twenty youth-focused nonprofits were selected to receive tickets, including Donda's House, Common Ground Foundation, Chicago Scholars and more.

Students were selected based on their commitment to being both achieving scholars and model citizens in their communities.

Xavier Johnson, 16, said the movie just sends the right message on several fronts.

"Do what is right and connect more with your race. Be more outgoing to bring us together," he said.