Sunday, February 17, 2013

[Link] Black, Female and Super Powered: An Interview With Grace Gipson on Black Comic Book Super Heroines

by Yolo Akili

When it comes to female comic book superheroes of any race, Wonder Woman and Supergirl are by far the world's most recognized. Yet even with their international popularity, both have failed commercially in major films and television adaptations. This failure has historically been attributed to the white, male-dominated comic book industry and media, which is often accused of being largely inept in writing, crafting and celebrating complex female superheroines. It has also been attributed to our sexist culture, which struggles psychologically with the concept of women and power.

This difficulty to write white female superheroines (or, depending on who you talk to, Kryptonian and Greek superheroines who look white) has fallen down even more so on black female superheroines, who not only become victims to the white male sexist imagination, but, among other things, it's racist stereotypes. In fact, with the exception of the X-men's Storm, there are not any other widely recognized black superheroines in American culture.

Well, the work of Grace Gipson just may help to change all that. Gipson, a graduate student at Georgia State University, is researching the interpretations and history of black superheroines. Her work has centered on answering the question "What are comic books communicating about black women to younger male and female readers who participate in the cultural universe of superheroes?".

I caught up with Gipson to learn more about the black female superheroines that are out there, why we need to read their stories and why we should support black women and girls in being the heroes in their own lives.

Continue reading: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/yolo-akili/black-female-super-powered_b_2659118.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false