T.I. & Family (photo: MichaelWalker/UmeekImages)
By Mwabi Kaira

Tip Harris aka rapper T.I. teamed up with Walmart to give away free tickets to an advance screening of Black Panther in Atlanta last night, and it was fiyah! Walmart chose to partner with T.I. because of his unwavering commitment to his community and because the movie was shot in Atlanta. Lucky ticket holders came to Regal Hollywood in Chamblee and filled 2 theaters while enjoying the movie in 3D. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms brought her family and joined Atlanta celebrities including T.I. and his family, television host and author Egypt, Sheree Whitfield of Real Housewives of Atlanta, Tye White of Greenleaf, and Ms. Juicy of Little Women, just to name a few...

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Gowns on fleek! (photo: MichaelWalker/UmeekImages)
The atmosphere was electric; when 2 ladies entered the theater in their African material ball gowns, there was a collective gasp from everyone. Some even took to their social media live feeds whilst in the lobby to share their excitement and atmosphere with their friends.

Mayor Keisha Bottoms (photo: MichaelWalker/UmeekImages)
Mayor Bottoms expressed her gratitude by saying,
“I thank Marvel for believing in Atlanta, this movie was shot all over Atlanta not just the popular places like Midtown but even in Vine City.” Black Panther generated more than $83.9 million to the local economy and contributed more than $26.5 million in wages to more than 3,100 workers across the state. I’m so excited about the power of an African-American cast that will engage audiences, this is a great lesson for girls to see that we can do it all from being a Mayor to being so powerful on the big screen.”
T.I. (photo: MichaelWalker/UmeekImages)
T.I. is known as a walking Thesaurus on social media with his use of big words. Seeing him speak in person, I must add that he is an amazing orator that commands his audience. He gave red carpet interviews expressing the importance of seeing superheros on the big screen that look like us and how imperative it was that our children know that there’s greatness inside them that just needs to be activated but it was his short speech before the movie started that got us all going. Most notably T.I. said, “I thank Walmart for giving people in our community a way to see this movie. There’s a superhero inside all of us and the superhero is you.”

Black Panther is an absolute gem. No stone was left unturned. Director Ryan Coogler and the entire cast - Chadwick Boseman, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kauuya, and Letitia Wright will leave you wanting more. I left the theater feeling  many emotions, the most prominent was pride. Black Panther will be in theaters on February 16th.

More red carpet photos!

Sheree Whitfield (photo: MichaelWalker/UmeekImages)
Egypt (photo: MichaelWalker/UmeekImages)
Headkrack

Tye White (photo: MichaelWalker/UmeekImages)
Ms. Juicy (photo: MichaelWalker/UmeekImages)
Do you have your Black Panther tickets yet?!?!
Mwabi Kaira is an African girl navigating her way in an American world. She is of Zambian and Malawian heritage and moved to the USA in 1993. Writing has been her passion since she could put a sentence together on the page. Mothering her sons is her pride and joy. She has been an avid runner since 2013 and has run 10 half marathons and a full marathon. Keep up with her at http://africanbeautifulme.blogspot.com/

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