Do You Believe in Black Superheroes?
by William Jackson
Superheroes are taking imaginations to new heights, their feats of flying, super intelligence, technology
development, physical strength and endurance have been displayed in comic books, graphic novels,
verbal storytelling and now movies that incorporate special effects to show abilities beyond imagination.
Comic books have shared characters that live in real life situations and experience circumstances that
display their “humanities” by having personal experiences with families, health issues, and emotional
challenges, and even how their interaction creates public perceptions of those with extraordinary abilities.
Superheroes are being shown with a humanistic side that drives their interaction with the people that
admire and even hate them. The history of Superheroes in many cases shows white characters or main
stream characterizations. The reality is there are real Superheroes that have performed extra-ordinary
achievements. Black Superheroes are just as important in the history of this nation but remain
a mystery. They have been denied recognition and a true love of people that they richly deserve.
Their names are derived from folklore of American ex-slaves. These heroes are men and
women, “The Black Superheroes” are taken from Stetson Kennedy’s books:
The Florida Slave, Palmetto Country, and the Library of Congress archives. The historical importance
of the true first Superheroes are of historical and educational importance. This information can be
found at the Jacksonville Library in books like “Palmetto Country for the slave narratives” and
“The Florida Slave” Reader Theater will be introducing a commemorative comic book derived from
folklore of American ex-slaves – “Introducing The Black Superheroes.” This unique comic book will
present and commemorate folklore pictures of 10 Black Superheroes derived from the folklore of
American ex-slaves. Slavery produced a historical representation of not just the survival of Blacks
during the years of slavery, but in some cases the development of Superheroes that
have influential and positive effects on the belief of Black slaves. The abilities of these heroes were
not the results of radiation exposure, micro-technology enhancements, cross birth between Gods and
man or the traveling through the cosmos for world domination. “Introducing The Black Superheroes”
is a display of accomplishments and successes that show Blacks were resilient, creative, intellectual,
dreamers, even incorporated STEAM/STEM before there was an academic integration of this
educational model in 21st century schools.
In many cases during slavery Blacks are looked on as ignorant, incapable, mentally challenged,
this is so far off the historical mark that the truth needs to be told; without the ingenuity and creativity
of Blacks the slaveholders would not have been successful as they were nor as influential in economics
and commerce. The Superheroes of the past set the foundation of the heroes that today are only fictional
characters enhanced by blue and green screens and special effects.
Recent interviews with Black actors shows there is a growing interest in the respect of the
Black Superheroes that Hollywood is not highlighting as much as white actors, the facts
remain that Blacks have heroes that are just as capable and influential. Talking about their
expectations and the “cultural diversity”, Black Superheroes are a source of positive
identification for Black adolescent and preadolescent boys who make up most of the
readership of comic books. Actors Boris Kodjoe, Djimon Hounsou, Derek Luke, Terrence J
and Taye Diggs have their choices and ideas on Black Superheroes that would be important
to the generations of youth and would identify with them.
Reader Theater on Saturday, April 11th 2015 will set the historical foundation of who these
men and women that were Superheroes in flesh and blood. The Stetson Kennedy Legacy
Part II: The Black Superheroes will be held on Saturday, April 11, 2015 1:00pm
at the Main Branch Library Downtown Jacksonville, Florida. This is an event for all generations
to hear about the exploits and adventures of Black Superheroes.
The level of “principle[s] of interpretation” is important to show Black youth that it is important
to understand slavery and how they can apply it to their existence and survival. Blacks overcame
over 400 years of slavery to rise and excel even in today’s struggles in society.
They had embedded in them skills, talents and drive to overcome the challenges thrown
at them that try to defeat them not just physically, but emotionally and mentally.
This desire for excellence and growth still is needed for youth, teens and young adults.
You can also order your commemorative comic book at Kickstarter and support this
COMIC BOOK RELEASE PERFORMANCE!!!
INTRODUCING THE BLACK SUPERHEROES (A COMMEMORATIVE COMIC BOOK)
Young Minds Building Success Charities, Inc
Introducing the Black Superheroes (A Commemorative Comic Book)
This comic book presents and commemorates folklore pictures of
10 Black Superheroes as derived from the folklore of American ex-slaves.
(Derived from Library of Congress archives; The Florida Slave, and
Palmetto Country by Stetson Kennedy)
Introducing The Black Superheroes: A Commemorative Comic Book
COMIC BOOK RELEASE PERFORMANCE!!!
A Reader’s Theater Performance
Saturday, April 11, 2015
1:00pm until 3:00pm
Main Branch Library Jacksonville, Florida
303 North Laura Street, Jacksonville, FL 32202
Twitter: @readertheater #ReaderTheather