Serena Williams surprised a group of young black girls last night with a private screening of Black Panther last night in San Francisco. TMZ reports that around 40 girls from the youth group Black Girls CODE, which provides technology education to black girls, were present at the screening. Williams and her husband, Alexis Ohanian, helped set the whole thing up and Willams spoke to the girls about the cultural significance of the film.
"This is a huge moment for us, for black people,” Serena told the girls. ”We've never had a superhero movie, so, we're so excited. I feel like I've waited my whole life for this."
The tennis superstar also said that the whole thing was her husband’s idea. She then quickly added: "It was my idea, too."
Williams also shared a sweet snap of the girls at the movie theater on her Instagram today.
“Last night we surprised a group of girls from Black Girls CODE to watch Black Panther with me in a private screening,” Williams wrote on her Instagram earlier today. “We loved the movie and had an awesome time!” She also thanked her husband for helping set up the event.
Black Panther is set in Wakanda, a fictional African country that happens to be the most technologically advanced nation in the world. Letitia Wright, who plays Shuri, the titular character’s young sister (who makes all his tech for him), has said that she hopes her role will inspire “a lot of young girls… to like technology.” There was even a petition circling the Internet asking Marvel to donate 25 percent of the global profits from the movie to black communities and S.T.E.M. educational programs.
Williams is not the first to organize a screening of the momentous Marvel movie for children of color, the people who will benefit the most from watching the movie. Octavia Spencer, T.I., the TDE record label, and even a middle school in Atlanta all paid for communities who might not have had the means to see themselves represented on the big screen watch Black Panther.