UCSB's Black Student Union asks white students not to attend 'Wakanda Forever’ screening
'We are lovingly curating this space to support and affirm Black people and Black joy,' BSU's poster for the event read
SANTA BARBARA, CALIFORNIA: The Black Students Union of the University of California, Santa Barbara organized a free private screening of MCU’s blockbuster ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ but strongly advised white students not to attend.
The news regarding the screening held at the local Santa Barbara Arlington Theatre on Wednesday, November 16, was shared by the union on its Instagram page. The post described the event as a 'Black-centered' activity, signaling it was not inclusive of others. "We are lovingly curating this space to support and affirm Black people and Black joy. We ask that our non-Black allies support our intention of creating a Black affinity and celebration space," reads the event description on the post.
The tone of the post clearly indicated that white students would not be welcome, sparking claims that the Union was trying to exclude them. The Union also posted temporary stories on their Instagram page, which showed that the club hired a party bus to transport the students from the school to the movie theatre. Everyone in the snaps appeared to be students of color.
UCSB Media Relations Manager Kiki Reyes told The College Fix via email that members of the BSU told the school that the event had not been intended to be segregated. “This screening is hosted by local off-campus organizations, and the link you sent is just the BSU inviting its members to attend. We have been informed that the event is open, and no student or community member is precluded from registering or attending,” Reyes said. However, the director of the BSU is yet to comment on the claims.
Marvel Cinematic Universe’s 'Wakanda Forever' is the sequel to 2018's 'Black Panther', which featured the adventurous stories of the leaders of a fictional region of Africa called Wakanda. Both films feature people of color and women as powerful lead characters. The movies also had music composed by black composers. The sequel has managed to win over the hearts of the audience and has already grossed over $400 million worldwide.
However, this is not the first racial segregation controversy revolving around the movie. Last week, the Stanford University Graduate Student Council announced it has 450 tickets for a November 10 screening of 'Wakanda Forever', 100 of which it was reserving for black students. Black students also received priority in signing up for the bus to the movie theater.