So two really important things happened recently. The Wonder Woman movie just came out and it was AMAZING! The second thing that happened is that the trailer for Black Panther came out and once again, it was AMAZING!
For those who don’t know, Black Panther is the first black superhero in mainstream comics and the first black individual to don a costume and behave in a traditional superhero manner.
Wonder Woman was introduced to the world in October 1941. She is a founding member of the Justice League and one of the most powerful superheroes of all time.
Ok so that's a little about them but why are these two stories so amazing? One word.
Superheroes are some of the first things that little kids gravitate towards. It’s a chance for them to imagine themselves doing amazing things. That was certainly the case for me with Superman and it's also why to this day, I refer to myself as The African Superman. Yes, The African Superman.
But I digress...
The point is that since superheroes are one of the first way kids come into contact with leadership, let’s make the heroes look more like them.
This does a few things.
- It inspires confidence in underrepresented groups and gives them the ability to locate themselves in different stories.
- It neutralizes bias. Unconscious bias is something that affects us all and they refer to stereotypes and biases we have outside of our conscious minds. These are usually as a result of on our history, personal experiences and stories that we've gathered from society, pop culture and family. (To learn more about unconscious bias, check out a video I did with my business partner here)
- It offers us a chance to learn about new cultures and history. One of the best things to happen last year was for the movie Hidden Figures to come out and that was because it brought to light a troubling fact. That is that Hollywood and the education system have engaged in revisionist history for far too long. The fact that I didn’t know about Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson was troubling and embarrassing to me. Why didn’t I know about these three ladies when I learned about Neil Armstrong? Stories like Wonder Woman and Black Panther can inspire curiosity in all of us. Even though they are both set in fictional towns, the deep rooted sense of pride these two exhibit for their cultures I believe is enough to get people more curious about the continent of Africa for Black Panther and Greek/Roman mythology for Wonder Woman.
So there you have it. Why I think Black Panther and Woman are so important. I’d love to hear your thoughts so feel free to leave them in the comment sections below. Let’s help bridge the chasms that exists today and celebrate diversity. Till next time, Use your DIFFERENCE to make a DIFFERENCE.