By Chauna Whitlow via www.BlackgirlinCLE.com
When I was a little girl, my mom refused to let me have any dolls that were not black. She would always say, “That’s not what you look like.” She wanted me to be proud of who I am and that skin that I’m in. Black Barbie was beautiful too. My mother understood the power of seeing and believing. Every black girl should have someone to look up to, aspire to be that looks like them.
When co-blogger, Shana and I went to visit Carol and John’s Comic Shop, in Cleveland’s own Kamm’s Corner, he gave us a selection of comics featuring black girls including, Invincible Iron Man, Fight Like a Girl, Motor Crush, and Moon Girl. I will forever be grateful for those gifts because it has brought me to share with you why I think that every black girl needs to read black girl comics.
It was my first time reading this genre of lit and it won’t be my last. I’m forever grateful for these gifts because of what I learned about myself.
Let me share with you why I think black girls need to read comics about black girls.
1. Black Girls in Comics are Real
In Fight Like a Girl, Amarosa finds herself literally in the fight of her life. She gave up her freedom to become a warrior who eagerly takes on 9 trials (difficult challenges) to save her terminally-ill brother.
There’s something to be said about a person who puts everything on the line for a loved one or anyone for that matter. Sacrifice. It’s what we as women do take care of our families and homes.
That is as real as it gets. With her purple glasses, ponytail puff and low-rise jeans, Amarosa doesn’t miss a beat as she fights her way through the 9 unknown trials.
2. Black Girls in Comics are Smart
In the Invincible Iron Man series, RiRi has been classified as a super genius at a young age. When she gets older, she finds out that she is not in a league of her own.
This brown-skinned kinky-haired girl from Chicago learns that ambition isn’t always about intellect but emotions too. And when tragedy strikes, she has to decide how to continue to be successful as the new Iron Man without falling apart.
Similar to RiRi, Lunella is super smart, but her teachers, parents, and peers haven’t quite figured that out yet. While the mean kids have nicknamed her Moon Girl, she proves why it’s more of a compliment.
Faced with one of the biggest challenges of her life, her larger than life personality made me laugh out loud. Purple, Harry Potteresque glasses, an afro puff, and trusty backpack, Lunella Lafayette takes Manhattan by storm. She has a few tricks in the basement as most smart people do.
3. Black Girls in Comics are Adventurous
I was told once that women with short hair are sassy, bold, and daring. It makes sense when you meet Domino Swift from Motor Crush.
Rocking a short crop fade, complete with piercings, and a fully beat face, this fierce black girl is a top competitor in the World Grand Prix motorcycle racing tournaments.
Feeling the pressures of helping her dad keep his shop open and elevating her status on Team Swift, Domino finds herself street racing with the gangs of Nova to earn the coveted Crush. She stumbles upon a secret that changes everything, including herself.
Whether you’re a young girl who sees yourself as Moon Girl or a grown woman who can vibe with living the fast life like Domino in Motor Crush, there’s something in black girl comics for every black girl to discover in themselves.
What are some comics that you see yourself in? What other characters or comics should we check out, let us know at www.BlackgirlinCLE.com
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