Children and young people have been challenged to put their thinking ‘capes’ on to design a new black British superhero.
The University of Wolverhampton and Wolverhampton Black History Month Group have joined forces to launch the Black British Superhero Challenge.
With African-American superheroes such as Luke Cage, Wally West, Black Panther, and Misty Knight capturing the imagination of young people across the UK, youngsters from all backgrounds are being invited to create their version of a Black British superhero.
To enter, children or young people have to submit either a drawing, comic strip or text description of their superhero to the University of Wolverhampton’s Faculty of Arts by Monday 26 June 2017. For more details about how to enter please visit: http://www.wlv.ac.uk/about-us/equality-and-diversity/events/
Selected submissions will be displayed at the Wolverhampton Black History Month Launch Event on 29 September 2017 and other locations throughout October. Participants will also be invited to attend workshops hosted by the Faculty of Arts and have the chance to win prizes.
David Bennett, Chair of the Wolverhampton Black History Month Group, said the competition is designed to challenge the underrepresentation of Black Britons within popular culture.
He added: “Interest in superhero fiction keeps growing every year. Today we are familiar with many of these superheroes, brought to life through film and television. The superheroes though tend to be White Americans. What is missing are superheroes that reflect the diverse Britain of today. The Superhero Challenge gives young British people the opportunity to create a super hero who like them or their friends, is Black and from Britain.”
Dr Chijioke Obasi, Equality and Diversity lead for the Faculty of Arts, said: “There is a lot of young British talent out there and we would love to see that being used to plug the current gap in the superhero world by channelling that talent into creating a Black British female or male superhero for our young people to relate to.
“As a Faculty we very much look forward to welcoming all applicants into one of our workshops to share the many resources we have on offer and to nurture some of those who already have a keen interest in animation, illustration or creative writing. Whatever your interest the Black British Superhero challenge is a great opportunity so please do get involved!”
The initiative was also welcomed by legendary British comic book writer and Editor Pat Mills, who not only created the longstanding British anthology 2000 AD, but has written extensively for both American and European publishers. He highlighted the legacy of racism in British comics: “There has been resistance to black characters in British comics. Some of it is down to traditional British attitudes, some of it is apathy and disinterest, and some of it is even resistance from the right-on, white middle classes, as I know to my cost from writing Third World War. Things are changing, but there is a long way to go.”
For more information about Wolverhampton Black History and how you can get involved please email David Bennett, Wolverhampton Black History Month Group Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org