Some of you may have deduced at this point that I grew up #geekalicious and #nerdstrong. So yeah, I was into comic books and back then the females who appeared on those pages weren’t exactly abundant and black females were almost nonexistent.
But we had Ororo Munroe (a.k.a. Storm)
Storm even made her way into our house via the X-Men series that was a staple of my Saturday morning cartoon routine. I loved her character because it was always drawn with such dignity. Storm was powerful, but she was also extremely nurturing and an effective leader. She overcame the horrors of her childhood and became one of the most powerful X-Men influencers of the MCU.
Now when I look at the field I am delighted and very much encouraged to see so many more black female comic book characters making their way into our mainstream storylines. Watching Luke Cage this weekend made me all the more joyful because the team that rendered this television series did an amazing job of being true to the spirit of the comic book. And while I am a MARVELous woman for LIFE, I must give DC its due as well. I love how they have worked to include other black female characters in their recent tv series Arrow and Flash.
It means so much for little black girls to see more than one person who looks like them when they turn on a television. And in a time when many seem hell bent on trying to make Reality TV’s portayal of black women as the norm (which it is not at all by the way) having the ability to see some of these Marvel and DC characters in professions, seeing them flawed but also in virtuous moments is a significant accomplishment that we should all appreciate and celebrate.
There is certainly more work to be done but it is important to acknowledge that progress has been made in recent years so that we can stay committed in the cause to continue this positive trend.
If you’d like to check out some of these characters and their backstories for yourself, here are a few links to get you started. I also threw in a few links to beautiful black dollmakers and some up and coming comic artist projects.
If you have others that you’d like to share, drop me a note in the comment box.
~Marta C. Youngblood
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