Local philanthropist, NFL player team up to treat students to private ‘Black Panther' film screening

Private showing on March 8

SAN ANTONIO – A local philanthropist and a former NFL player have joined forces to treat 80 Northeast Side students a chance to watch the “Black Panther” movie for free in a theater all to themselves, with refreshments included.

Those who accept the “Black Panther” Challenge on social media are charged with taking someone or a group to see the first Marvel movie to feature a black superhero and a predominately black cast.

Philanthropist Allyson Byrd accepted the challenge and put her money together with former NFL cornerback Lenny Walls to treat the students next week.

“We bought out a theater, and we're taking care of our community here in San Antonio," Byrd said.

The attendees will be sixth- through eighth-grade students from the Ruth Jones McClendon Learning Center.

“I grew up on the East Side of San Antonio. My mom was a single mom working three jobs. My father was in prison. There were days when we didn't have enough, and we surely didn't have enough money to go see a movie. I identify with these kids in a major way,” Byrd said.

School principal Norris Darden said the trip is an earned privilege that teaches the importance of discipline.

“Attendance had to be 92 percent, so you couldn’t miss more than two days. Academics, you had to have turned in all your homework and all your classwork, and then for the discipline piece, no referrals, no visits to the principal’s office,” Darden said.

Byrd said it costed under $1,000 to buy out the River Center AMC so the students could see the film. The private showing is on March 8.

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