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Thursday, April 20, 2023 

Black Comic festival in New York is "act of resistance"

A writer at Hyperallergic is telling us this, in what sounds like a politically motivated view of the Black Comic Book Festival at the Schomberg Center:
I encountered Joel Christian Gill, a professor at Boston University, founder of Strange Fruit Comics, and writer of Eisner Awards-nominated memoir Fights: One Boy’s Triumph Over Violence (2020), whose words stuck with me throughout my visit. “You don’t have to be Black,” he said. He was reminding me that at this festival I wasn’t the only Black girl in the room; I didn’t have to go searching for books made by and for me, because they were all around me. The experience of being a Black woman represented in every book in my vicinity is a rare one, as Black men and women are vastly underrepresented in the comic book industry.
Honestly, after several decades since the CCA became little more than a tool used to undermine racial representation in comicdom, and these problems have since been solved, is it really such a big deal compared to the vitality of story merit? Though if it matters, how come nobody asks whether leftists led to such an embarrassing situation? Here we are decades later since the 1950s, and still nobody has the courage to raise such challenging queries whether liberals have accountability.

She also quoted some interviewees:
“I think the festival definitely helps to uplift you and to make you feel proud of your heritage and where you came from,” Joshua said. “It makes you feel like you deserve to be seen … because when you’re not in the media it feels like you’re being erased, like your existence is invalid. But seeing yourself in the comics, you feel a sense of pride to be who you are, and it’s really powerful.”

He also sees graphic novels as a unique way of learning about Black history. Comic books are a way for Black people to teach ourselves about our past and present without being in a school or under the direct guidance of someone else, offering us a sense of freedom that society tries to strip away from us. Being at the festival was a way to gain that freedom back.
Reading this, I wonder how they feel about women - Blacks included - being erased in sports and advertising, for example, by men claiming to be women under the protected class status of transsexuality? That aside, it's honestly stupefying how, years after blacks became more noticeable in comicdom, even to the point of black characters being forcibly shoehorned into the roles of established white characters at the latter's expense at the Big Two in the past 20 years, everyone acts like it's never enough, and never happened. Nor do they consider that, if comics at the Big Two taking this approach were flops, it's because many people, Blacks included, realized it was all just a shoddy gimmick with no real merit involved. Certainly, there's got to be freedom at a convention like this, but that doesn't mean they should be doing it out of political motivations.
In fact, graphic novels are so powerful in their ability to make Black people feel seen that many of them are being placed on banned book lists, as I learned at a panel discussion titled “Banned Books and Diversity in Comics.” Author Monique Couvson, whose book Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls in Schools (2018) was placed on a ban list in Texas, called it “a badge of honor.”

“I think the books that get banned are those that are pushing us and those that are challenging us to think outside of what is normalized to harm us,” Couvson said. “It means I’m doing what I’m supposed to do.”
If this is a politically motivated GN they're highlighting, told from a leftist viewpoint as the author's employment at the Wash. Post suggests, and it was removed from local school libraries, then what if it was removed because it painted a potentially discriminatory picture against whites? And by the way, if they're really so concerned about normalization of harmful ideologies, does the current transsexual ideology situation worry them? It's harmful to women and children. Have they ever considered? One does have to wonder how any leftists in focus here view such issues.
To my surprise, I found that the Black Book Comic Festival was more than just a place to shop for new books. It is a community of disruptors upholding the principle of what makes books great — telling stories that help to create a more equitable society.
In other words, what the article title calls "resistance"? Okay, got it. But why don't they consider that, if there's racial inequity again, it's because the left's led us to a sad situation? If those queries can't be considered, nothing's solved, alas.

A specialty comics convention for the black community can certainly be quite helpful and educational, but not if it's built on politically motivated ideologies, and not if the folks covering the subject keep acting like specific problems were never solved, or like not just the Big Two, but everyone and anyone else, must develop their stories and employment based on quotas for the sake of "inclusion", to the point where it's unorganic. That's how we've gotten to a situation where independent comics, if that's the focus of this festival, make a far better choice of purchase. Certainly the comics that aren't politically motivated and biased.

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  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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