Kwanza's horseshit would be a lot less annoying if he wasn't such a fucking hack. ORANGE MAN KNOCKOFF BAD is the least creative tack that's humanly possible in [the current year.] Reminds me of this video:EDIT:
Yeah that still doesn't explain why slavery still happened:
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At least he's pretty transparent about where he stands.
In 2016, Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim Smith 3, Jamal Igle, Khary Randolph, and editor Sarah Litt took Kickstarter by storm with BLACK, a comic series that imagined a modern America where only black people could develop superpowers. Now WHITE, a sequel series, is on the way—and Osajyefo has provided io9 with an essay on why its themes are still important three years later.
For over half a century, the Justice League of America was comprised, exclusively, of white people.
The World’s Greatest Superheroes, said the comic book covers.
Superman. Batman. Wonder Woman. All white. Even Martian Manhunter, a shapeshifter from the Red Planet, chose to adopt a white persona for his human secret identity: John Jones.
Time went by and comic book characters and superhero teams started to look a little more like their readers, a little more like both America and the world at large. In the wake of the success of Marvel Comics’ Uncanny X-Men and that comic’s international ensemble of heroes, new, “diverse” characters were introduced. Were DC’s Gypsy and Vibe, the breakdancing superheroes from Detroit, stereotypes when they were introduced in 1984? Sure. But at least the Justice League was a little more diverse, right?
The all-white Justice League of America debuted in 1960. The Detroit Era-Justice League that introduced “street level heroes” like Gypsy and Vibe arrived in 1984. Three decades later, Gypsy and Vibe are mainstays of the CW’sThe Flash. But the Justice League, like most corporate-owned superhero teams, remain mostly white, with token diversity.
And so three years ago, we launched a Kickstarter for BLACK, a comic book that asked, “what if only black people had superpowers?” It could go without saying that the premise of BLACK has a rather clear context, especially in the United States of America. It was hardly 50 years ago that segregation ended, after 100 years of Jim Crow, which was born from 250 years of the enslavement of Africans. This has had a profound impact on the foundations of this nation’s government, economy, and culture, but especially on the lives of modern black people existing with inherited inequality.
When we launched the BLACK Kickstarter in early 2016, it was in this context that we expected the concept might be controversial. The cornerstones of our current society uphold that, even in fiction, adversity to speaking candidly about black experiences in America exists in various forms. The Kickstarter for BLACK connected with fans in ways we weren’t entirely prepared for. Corporate comics had largely been slow to showcase black superheroes, but readers were ready.
We were not going to wait for a black Batman.
But discussing race is obviously jarring for people, especially those who have no perspective on, or are willfully ignorant of, the very structural barriers and cultural biases that still exist in our society. There’s proof of that in simply presenting the premise of BLACK, which forces people to confront matters that challenge their views on race and racism.
What allows people to be quietly comfortable with the Justice League being entirely white for over half a century, but openly uncomfortable when superhumans are wholly black? And that brings us to 2019 and the sequel to BLACK: WHITE.
WHITE examines where such responses come from and articulates them through comics and a wider look at the world BLACK is set in. That’s precisely why we created this universe: to explore how these reactions are part of the many facets that uphold racism. The aspects that quietly ignore uncles telling racist jokes at Thanksgiving every year. Components that make up thinking it is okay to wear blackface at costume parties. The characteristics that compel someone to call the police on a child for selling water. Whatever ingredients go into brands making products that look like Sambo. The rationalization of Philando Castile being murdered in front of his wife, with their baby crying in the back seat of his car.
Separately, these things may seem disconnected, but together they are a dangerous formula that normalizes hate. It’s what allows people to go online and tell blacks they have no reason to complain because no one in today’s America is a slave. It’s what makes it okay to decry black people as diversity hires while not acknowledging why affirmative action still has to exist. It’s what excuses murder as “not following orders.”
Too often, responses to simply mentioning race range from dismissal to denial to anger. Not anger at injustice or inequality—anger at black people for pointing it out.
Because that is not normal.
WHITE asks, “How does a nation struggling with a history of racial inequality cope in a world where only black people have superpowers?” In our series, there’s a newly elected President of the United States stoking national tensions to win public support. The main person standing in the President’s way is X —aka Kareem Jenkins—who has become a symbol of resistance against the Mann Administration.
How would you react to that?
The Kickstarter for WHITE is now open to backing—to learn more about the series and support the project, you can check it out here.
The thing is though he doesn't want to be respected as a legitimate comic artist. He wants to be respected a pro-black activist and woke individual, who sometimes does comics. Comics are just the medium by which he promotes his worldview. You'll see this a lot in "woke" culture, putting the carriage before the horse. That's why their comics/cartoons/art/books tend to kind of suck.If this guy wants to be respected as a legitimate comic artist, maybe he should tone down some of his tweets and look for more inspiration (I.e get inspired by non superhero comics.)
Unless you mean “artist” in the sense that wrting is an art, Kwanzer isn’t an artist.If this guy wants to be respected as a legitimate comic artist, maybe he should tone down some of his tweets and look for more inspiration (I.e get inspired by non superhero comics.)
I would understand if the power manifesting was a recent thing (well after slavery or during modern day). But the books don’t reflect that and neither Kwanzer or Igle elaborate further when asked about it.The basic problem I can see is that the comic bassically relies on completly ignoring its own premise, Their answer to "what if only black people had superpowers" is apparantly "things would be very similar to what we have now." which seems almost a total waste
The only real answer is meta: Kwanza wants to have his cake and eat it too. He wants black people to be extremely powerful, but also oppressed. They should have the power to overthrow their oppressors with ease, but also have been oppressed in the past to justify their grudge. They need to be capable of crushing everyone who isn't them, but everyone who isn't them must be bad guys who are wrong to be afraid of being crushed.I would understand if the power manifesting was a recent thing (well after slavery or during modern day). But the books don’t reflect that and neither Kwanzer or Igle elaborate further when asked about it.
Lol, these guys are clowns. EVS is further proving comics fans aren’t with the SJW crowd.
Holy shit Fake Christmas goes all out on the Kwanzerisms, "Blerds" (Black + Nerds), commits the ultimate sin of implying his shit is better than God Loves, Man Kills by Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson because the black kids weren't able to fight back and were killed coldly, uses his dumb "empowered" term to refer to black mutants and says that anyone that has criticisms of his books are just racist.Kwanza Osajyefo writes for Bleeding Cool
“What if only black people had superpowers?”
By paralleling superhero tropes with real-world issues, it’s the tagline that launched a graphic novel I wrote into the public consciousness. Through that lens, BLACK brought attention to the dearth of African-American representation in comic books’ creative process – and therefore their content.
Where we were not absent was the culture. No, not The Culture, but comic book culture.
While the term “blerd” has recently entered geek lexicon, black nerds who enjoyed comics did so reading about characters who mostly did not look like them or authentically reflect their experiences. Though comics were rife with “relatable” and flawed characters that had “average problems,” none of these problems were having the police called on them while waiting for an associate at Starbucks.
At best, black nerds could enjoy allegories of social injustice alongside the rest of geekdom, reading the adventures of persecuted costumed heroes who, for the most part, take off their masks to live as abnormally beautiful white people. For the few characters who were overtly inhuman, we’d get a few pages where they were harassed or attacked for how they looked – but these stories were few and far between.
Despite their mistreatment, the attractive outsiders and their frightening comrades were unified in turning the other cheek. They even fought against their brethren who were not inclined to be as kind-hearted because, despite the collective power they had, they were a minority against a much bigger world of people who feared and hated them. This was the foundational theme of their struggle and made them comics darlings for nearly 30 years.
Which brings us back to BLACK and a world where only black people can have superpowers.
One of the frequent questions about the concept is, if black people have had powers for centuries then why did slavery happen? A fair question that, as a writer, leaves me to coyly suggest people continue to read the trilogy, where more will be revealed in WHITE, the sequel to BLACK. Shameless plug: we’re currently crowdfunding it on Kickstarter.
So, while fans’ enthusiasm to know more about the history of the universe is taken as a compliment, there are detractors like Comicsgate who find this to be a story flaw.
These hecklers feel I’ve missed a beat because they believe that black people with superpowers in the modern world would fight back, as though real slavery and segregation ended by magic and not through the sacrifice of our very real black heroes, or that black people with powers today would take over our country.
Aside from those arguments having racist overtones that broadly paint black people as either sheepish, or as vengeful savages waiting to serve white people a comeuppance, for the most part, they try to deny inequality while acknowledging it in the same breath.
What an odd hill for these supposedly real fans of comics to die on.
Granted, their aim is solely to minimize the voices of women, POC, and LGBTQIA+ comics creatives, but as so-called normal fans who want quality comics – what have they been reading?
Longtime comic book readers and hardcore X-Men fans regard Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson‘s God Loves Man Kills as not only a defining moment for the writer’s career, but also for the format of comics, and in particular a cornerstone of the X-Men mythos.
To that end, I won’t recite the entire premise of the book – you have comic shops, ComiXology, and Google for that – it’s recommended reading for any real fan.
Instead, I’ll focus on the catalyst of the story, which is two black mutant children – Mark and Jill – who are pursued by The Purifiers, a gang of henchmen lead by Reverend William Stryker.
In the dead of night, the Purifiers chase this empowered pair of siblings to a playground where the kids try to hide. Mark is shot in the leg and can’t run anymore, allowing the hunters to corner them. Nowhere to go and his young sister to protect, Mark’s eyes crackle with superhuman power as he bemoans their attackers’ murder of their parents – it’s time to avenge them.
Except a Purifier aims her gun and blows his brains out.
Little Jill is executed just as coldly. These empowered characters had no chance against a mob and their firearms – despite any wondrous abilities they possessed. God Loves Man Kills sets the tone for the X-Men to parallel the discrimination, aggression, and attacks that real minorities experience in the United States.
As Stan Lee said, “the world outside our window.”
The X-Men are accepted and embraced by comics readers as Marvel’s minority group. Underdogs who, despite their powers, are tyrannized, constantly under threat of extinction. A visceral and palpable fear to have in the face of humanity conquering most of the species in the sky, on land, and in the sea.
Perhaps comics have allowed some readers such an escape from reality that they no longer understand that in the face of overwhelming numbers of determined attackers, a tiger’s claws, an eagle’s wings, or a whale’s size doesn’t matter. History has shown us the human ambition to bring other beings to kneel – and it is never accomplished with fair odds.
But it has also shown us that actual resistance is not accomplished in 20 pages. Freedom is not won in an hour and forty-five minutes. Happy endings don’t happen in a half hour. And while a struggle against the odds is the core of all of our greatest stories, it comes at the highest price.
So what is the disconnect? If blerds can find solidarity among comic readers in having empathy for the fictional struggles of Professor X, Cyclops, Magento, etc., why is it a problem to connect with the real sacrifices of Huey P. Newton, Martin Luther King, Jr, Malcolm X, and countless other black heroes that they are inspired by?
I think you know the answer.
This is still a false equivalence, though. Two children who don't actually have powers (the boy has eye crackle but it's not. Like he knows what he's doing, the sister shows no powers) are very different from an entire race of people with superman equivalent powersets.Seems Hanukkah will at least make the goal, I don't think WHITE will be as successful as BLACK tho:
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New Article by Kwanzer himself, this time on Bleeding Cool:
God Loves, Man Kills – Kwanza Osajyefo on BLACK… and WHITE
Posted by Rich Johnston March 23, 2019
Holy shit Fake Christmas goes all out on the Kwanzerisms, "Blerds" (Black + Nerds), commits the ultimate sin of implying his shit is better than God Loves, Man Kills by Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson because the black kids weren't able to fight back and were killed coldly, uses his dumb "empowered" term to refer to black mutants and says that anyone that has criticisms of his books are just racist.
[Special congrats to Bleeding Cool for only crashing 3 times and making me have to download/upload the pictures on the article manually instead of letting me just copy/paste them, they're improving.]
YaBoi talks about it: