On Malcolm, Martin and that X-Men Analogy Thing

malcolmmagnetoOn the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the activist, orator and the man once referred to in eulogy by the late Ossie Davis as “Our Shining Black Prince,” El-Hajj Malik El-Shabazz (most commonly known as Malcolm X), I quite foolishly decide to wade into that whole X-Men analogy thingy. Of course I’ve been warned. Of course I know better. But since when has that stopped me? So then, let’s do this thing.

And that supremely bad ass Malcolm & Magneto mash-up art you’re seeing, is courtesy of the amazing John Jennings and his 2012-2013 exhibit Black Kirby. If yuh dunno, now yuh know.

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Race and Comic Books

JLA 173“You’re the second donkey who’s tried blastin’ me away tonight, and like I tole the other fella, you got a lot to learn ’bout Black Lightning!”–Justice League of America #173 This week there was a disturbance throughout the geek “interwebs” after John Hugues at Comics Alliance published an article titled Outrage Deferred: On The Lack Of Black Writers In The Comic Book Industry. This has led to talk of Dr. Jonathan Gayles’s 2012 documentary, White Scripts, Black Supermen: Black Masculinities in Comic Books. We’re also fast approaching the anniversary of the birthday and death of black comic book pioneer Dwyane McDuffie. All of this has magnified the usual buzz on race in comic books. And it jogged my memory. Back in 2000, I actually wrote on this very topic, as part of a presentation for a friend’s Blacks in Media course. In the fast-changing world of comic books however, that is of course several dozen crossovers ago. Nevertheless, given all the recent talk, decided to dig up the article and thought, what the heck, it’d make a decent blog. Continue reading