Yes, Comics Can Empower Black Girls!


I’m thrilled that comics scholar Qiana Whitted took the time to write this amazing guest post—enjoy and please share!


aya001It is unlikely that anyone who reads comics regularly will be surprised by Zetta Elliott’s answer to the question posed in her January 6, 2014 post, “Do Comics Empower Black Girls?” She’s doubtful, and understandably so, given the hypersexualized objectification of women that dominates superhero comics. Nevertheless, comics can tell deeply rewarding, complex stories about black women that affirm their intelligence, compassion, strength, and beauty on multiple visual and verbal registers. So I come away from the question with a different response, not only as someone who studies race and comics, but also as a black girl who has found much to love in a comic book!

Let’s be clear, though, about the term “comics.” Critics often take issue with the depiction of women in superhero titles produced by Marvel…

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