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The Complexion of Comics

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Program Type: Outreach
Age: Adult, Teen

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The superhero is a mythological construct unique to American society and the backbone of the American comic book industry. The superhero is the construct of immigrants, people from different cultures coming together to form a new nation where the unique attribute of each culture contributes to greater whole. African American superheroes are as important as African Americans in the tapestry of this country. 

With the Black Panther’s appearance in 1966’s Fantastic Four #52, African Americans were introduced into the “mainstream” consciousness of superhero myth. In the past 30 years, a veritable army of African American creators have emerged. Tapping into our folklore, mythology and history to give our characters depth and substance, these creations have the ability to go beyond the limitations of the perception of color and become classic characters in their own right.

Jiba Molei Anderson's  work examines the root of the superhero, mythology, thereby taking an esoteric approach to the genre. Mythology allows me to craft a story featuring people with abilities that though they use those powers for good, they are still subjected to the same feelings and frustrations we all have living in these modern times.

This lecture will be a discussion on the practice of using Afrofuturism as a launch point in the creation of a comic book universe, particularly the universe created by the Mr. Anderson, The Horsemen. 

*See the attached document for a biography and more details on Anderson's work.