On National Superhero Day, Black Hollywood Live’s Jeff Williams and the Black Superhero Almanac cover the history of black superheroes and the importance of representation

Written by: Jeffrey Williams Jr. – April 28th, 2020 11:48pm pst

Credit: Marvel Comics & Sony Pictures

In 2020 it is easy to see kids dress up on Halloween as their favorite black superhero like Black Panther, Miles Morales, or even little Misty Knights, but it was not like that 5-10 years ago. Today on National Superhero Day, we are highlighting many who have not been seen, the Black Superheroes of the world.

Black people in comics only date back roughly 80 years, and with America progressing, as did comics with the first Black Superhero in mainstream American comics being none-other than The King of Wakanda, Black Panther in 1966. Not too long after, Falcons debuted in 1969, and ironically enough these two were some of the first black superheroes in the MCU as well. Some of earth mightiest heroes known today were created in those early years.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Black superheros have been seen through the ages holding such abilities to manipulate the weather, run on water, just sling through your neighborhood. Blue Marvel is a perfect example of untapped potential when it comes to really portraying ‘earth’s mightiest heroes’. Originally debuting in Adam: Legend of the Blue Marvel #1 (November 2008), Adam Brashear, also known as Blue Marvel has been widely seen as one the most powerful heroes throughout the comics, but we have yet to see the Chicago native portrayed on the silver screen.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Blue Marvel is among many black superheroes who have yet to be fully utilized, Blur, Brooklyn Blur, Dolante Murray, and Blackwing being just some of the many. With that being said, it does leave so much room for directors and writers to explore all these amazingly powerful characters.

Credit: Marvel Comics & Sony Pictures

2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse made a huge step in that right direction, exploring the life of a young afro-latino man becoming a hero overnight. This movie made Miles Morales a household name, and really put african american superheroes in the forefront. Another huge step happened recently in the MCU as well with Steve Rogers handing the mantle of ‘Captain America’ to Sam Wilson played by Anthony Mackie, and the announcement of Blade the Vampire Hunter joining the team by way of his own solo film, this time being portrayed by Mahershala Ali.

Today, little black children will be able to watch their favorite superhero films and see someone that looks like them. Someone that was not born a god, or a playboy billionaire philanthropist, but was born in Chicago, or Brooklyn who looks like them, has the same struggles as them, but overcomes them and does great things! That is why all representation is needed, especially black, to show people of all ages, your superhero, the person you idolize, is someone just like you!

About The Author:

Jeff Williams Jr. is a TV Host and Digital Storyteller who shares a passion for learning and bringing people together. With a personal mantra of ‘Create Your Opportunity’, Jeff continues to find new ways to grow and learn, while also sharing that message to the viewers!

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