Black Panther actor gives back to West Ashley community

Black Panther actor gives back to West Ashley community
November 24 15:49 2018 Print This Article

`On a sun-drenched Saturday afternoon, Black Panther actor Cyrus Birch visited his childhood community, Orleans Garden Apartments in West Ashley. He told the 30 children who attended, “I am you and you guys are me. I’m obligated to all of you.” He pointed to the apartment he grew up in.

Birch has formed a founded a non-profit Roses In Concrete SC to empower and mentor low-income youth in the Lowcountry. The foundation paid to convert a three-bedroom apartment at Orleans Garden into a computer lab and homework center for the children who live there. He told the children, “I want to take as many barriers out of your path as possible so you can be successful.”

The event Saturday was similar to the ones Birch’s foundation puts on each Saturday at the Dream Center in North Charleston. The children do physical fitness and team-building activities and then he delivers a motivational message. He often speaks about the importance of learning, hard work and taking advantage of the opportunities available in life.

A Middleton High School graduate, Birch used academics and his talent in basketball to escape poverty. He received a basketball scholarship to Spartanburg Methodist college and later UNC-Pembroke and earned a degree in computer engineering. A friend told him about a casting call for Black Panther in Atlanta, and he drove overnight, auditioned and made the cut. He played a Jabari warrior whose tribe came down from the mountains to help the Black Panther take his country back from hostile forces. He will be re-cast in that role in next year’s sequel.