A Boys and Girls Club mentor has raised $40,000 for kids of color to see Black Panther

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Jan 12, 2018, 11:44 AM EST

Feb. 16 marks a momentous day in the world of comic book movies: the release of Marvel Studios' Black Panther, the first mainstream superhero movie to feature a black protagonist as its main character. The date of the film's theatrical opening is also fitting, as it's smack dab in the middle of Black History Month. Marvel is truly making history with such a project, and the significance is not lost on one particular mentor for the Boys & Girls Club of America of Harlem in New York City. 

So far, as of Friday morning, Frederick Joseph has raised almost $40,000 on GoFundMe — more than three times its original goal — in a campaign that will allow kids of color to see the movie when it comes out next month.

"The release of Marvel's film the Black Panther is a rare opportunity for young students (primarily of color) to see a black major cinematic and comic book character come to life. This representation is truly fundamental for young people, especially those who are often underserved, unprivileged, and marginalized both nationally and globally," reads the campaign's page

Joseph wants to hold special screenings the week after the film is released, between Feb. 19 and 22. The money raised is expected to cover the cost of tickets and refreshments for both the kids and their chaperones. 

Directed by Ryan Coogler (Creed), Black Panther stars Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Andy Serkis, and Lupita Nyong'o. It opens everywhere Feb. 16.