News & Events - Art Displays and Exhibits

The Changing Image of African Americans in Comic Books

Comic book historian Prof. William H. Foster III is displaying the diversity of African American comic book characters in the lobby display case during February.  In the 1930s when comic books first made their appearance, African Americans were more often than not presented as mere comic relief, as savages, or were simply left out entirely.  This exhibit showcases six comic book characters from the 1960s to the 1990s: The Black Panther, Storm, Mr. T, Martha Washington, Bishop, and Steel. They represent how much Black characters had changed in that thirty to sixty year period.  Today there is a wider diversity of characters present in comic books, including a number created in honor of the first Black President of the United States, Barak Obama.