Building Black Superheroes with STEM
by William Jackson, M.Ed.
Edward Waters College @wmjackson
Reader Theater Actors and Family of Stetson Kennedy
Performance at American Beach, Fernandina, Fl.
Black Superheroes have been around for centuries,
from the stories presented from the archives of
Stetson Kennedy, author, poet, and community
activist to the works of Tangela Floyd who through
the theatrical portrayals in the “Reader Theater”
performances “The Black Superheroes” and now
the creation of movies and comic books,
“Black Superheroes” are coming to life.
Through the passion for resuscitating the stories
of the “Slave Narratives” of Stetson Kennedy and
Zora Neal Hurston, “Black Superheroes” that
inspired liberation from the false limitations
attempting to be placed on Blacks to keep them
in mental as well as physical bondage.
“Black Superheroes” help to free the spirits and
imaginations of Blacks during a time when Blacks
were denied basic constitutional and human rights.
The “Black Superheroes” are legendary in religious
beliefs, physical strength, and mental abilities.
They have engineering talents, legendary speed,
outstanding courage, battlefield leadership and even
compassion, love and family orientation.
They are young, middle aged, elders and spiritual
beings that show the best, brightest and sometimes
challenges of having color and culture. They are
sometimes misunderstood, misrepresented and
often thought dangerous because of their
representation of not just equality, but superiority of
people of color and culture over those of lighter skill
and lesser historical significance.
Sandra Kennedy with William Jackson at the
Ritz Theater performance of Black Superheroes
“The Black Superheroes” are a representation of
the best in Blacks working to overcome slavery and
of all types of oppression. Even in songs that are the
foundation of gospel spirituals like, “follow the Drinking
Gourd” is a symbol of freedom.
The stories of the “Black Superheroes” can be found
in Stetson Kennedy Legacy Part 1: Slave Narratives
and Folklore, and Stetson Kennedy Legacy Part II:
Introducing “The Black Superheroes,” these are iconic
works of literature that will be recognized for decades
to come because they will not be forgotten again.
Youth, teens and young adults should be given a
chance through the creative and innovative tools of
STEM and STEAM to embrace their “Superpowers”
as children of color and culture.
What better way to show children of color and culture
how innovative and talented they are, allow them to
design their own “Black Superheroes” roles for
Here you can see how inner city children developed
themselves as “Superheroes” using their minds, creative
and innovative spirits to build and design themselves
as the “Superheroes” they see themselves as.
Resources for Black Superheroes
Black Superheroes of America’s Little Leaders 2016
Summer Camp Video
Resources for Black Superheroes by William Jackson
Introducing the Black Superheroes
America Need Black Superheroes
Do You Believe in Black Superheroes
Catch A Fire for Reading – Catch A Black Superhero
Tangela Floyd , Director
Young Minds Building Success
Photos from the presentation at “American Beach”