Women in Afrofutrism Comic Books
When thinking of female comic books characters the first ones that come to mind usually are Wonder Women, Super Girl, or Cat Women. We all pay homage to the powerful African beauty Storm, but shouldn’t there be more? The representation of African and black women in comic book culture presents their normalization, acknowledging their otherness and could potentially remove the stigma associated with being a black woman.
Why is it so hard to see black women as doctors, scientist, leaders or even in political roles in the comic book scene? The stereotypes given to us by our society has limited our expectations of ourselves. And because society has tainted our dreams and aspirations, so now we have to build each other back up. Afrofuturism shifts the perspective of gender and careers in the STEM workforce. Not only is Afrofuturism used as a tool of representation but also as an outlet to reshape the history and identity of African, African American women. Telling your story from the experiences, stories of your ancestors, and personally through yourself begins to break down that concept of a ‘single story’. Rewriting history and developing platforms for generations to come with a sci-fi twist.
"...Comic books can be a medium that integrates Afrofuturism as a genre by providing a fantasy setting and visual storytelling. The growing popularity of Afrofuturism and comic books within popular culture create innovative approaches to discussing race, gender, science and technology, and fantasy. These growing relationships and narratives are worthy of further investigation." - Grace Gibson
Lunella Lafayette aka (Moon Girl) is a young African American girl from Manhattan with a love to invent and astounding intelligence. Using her gifted mind, she builds a variety of gadgets that are used during battles. Lunella’s inhuman abilities allow her to jump consciousness with Devil Dinosaur whenever she experiences strong emotions. Her character plays a role in offering youth a positive and inspiring representation of black girls in the STEM fields. Comics like Moon Girl help bridge a gap that has been created between reality and fiction. On the other hand, embracing and motivating young black girls to celebrate their intelligence.
How can you strive to be what you can’t see?
We are beginning to break free of the bubble that society has encased us in and voice our truths from our perspective without them being manipulated and whitewashed. Let’s continue to tell those stories and create role models that future generations of young black women can look up to.
Article by Kalyn Kearney