Heroes live and die on the pages of a book. Imaginations grow and worlds explored one paragraph at a time. Reading something you enjoy may increase your speed and desire.
There is a lengthy history of heroism and patriotism of the Black American experience lost to time and ignorance. Stories forgotten or never shared.
There's plenty of heroes out there - some in cape others in uniform and some in jeans and a hoodie. Extraordinary deeds can come from unlikely sources.
Who's writing our story. Storytelling can change the perception we have of ourselves. What's said in the News or at home some narratives showcase the negative rather than the positive.
wishes to promote literacy, legacy, heroism, and to challenge perception. Using diversity in storytelling, especially through comic and graphic novels to analyzing the effects of heroism on culture.
There's a long heritage of comics dating back to the very early 1930s. Comic strips in newspapers had simple serialized stories, political criticism or satire, social commentary or comedy, or were made to entertain. But, it wasn't only for pictures, comics for some became a gateway to literacy. In some cases, a gateway to the English language came with pictures of heroism. If one finds something that engages, sparks imagination, and captivates then it may lead to one wanting to read more.
Antidote; Asked a local officer if reading comic lead to his choice of occupation. He said no, but it was a teacher that gave him comics to help improve his reading and by doing so improved his grades. With better grades and more confidence, he did better in school and later in life chose to take the test for policemen. The officer said if it weren't for reading and having fun doing it then maybe he would have had fewer options.
Reading comics (and other literature) with diverse characters may positively nudge one onto paths leading to greater opportunities. And wanting to read these stories may better ones experiences learning and in life.
Literacy helps discovery a legacy of heroism from Black citizens. The lesser-known historical figures whose deeds have now found their way onto the pages of graphic novels; figures such as Bass Reeves, Molly Williams, or Bessie Coleman. Old fictional characters such as Luke Cage, Black Panther, and Black Lightning are seeing a revival for their positive perception.
There are many comic-creators trying to tell more diverse stories. Black Heroes Movement will find them, partner, and attempt to add to the library of heroes for all to discover and enjoy.
It started with a question
2014 Summer "I'm sure you can name 5 superheroes but can you name 5 black superheroes - without the internet...". I asked this question to a social media forum. The end results proved that very few people could name a superhero of color and sadly neither could I. A few weeks later I posted the question again and nothing. And so, I began looking at a connection between media rhetoric, storytelling, perception, heroism and how those elements may impact us socially. This was after Trayvon and before Baltimore.
2015 January I'm at work, at a 9-1-1 dispatch center, thinking about how to improve our community. Searching the web and reading material on a very old "social" group, The Klan. I wanted to know where some of the negative rhetoric began and if it even started with them. A few months later a colleague introduced me to google archive papers online. Within the periodicals of history, I found that it is a community's social norm, - it wasn't the police it was the public. Public perception and public policy created the environment of generational systemic discrimination.
2016 February I wore the t-shirt to work and immediately someone asked to explain and why "white" heroes don't matter. I had to defend the thesis in the middle of a 911 call center without the luxury of being surrounded by like-minded supporters at a convention. There was a dismissiveness to why it mattered as I continued to explain. If you want to give someone hope and make attempts to build then one must be willing to have this dialog. Building a community is more than commerce and fortification, there's artistry, story, policy, sciences and so on.
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