Why I wish I had a black superhero like Naomi on my TV as a teenager – KristenBellTattoos.com

Reflecting on my childhood and adolescence, I can’t think of a single black superhero that I came across in the main. There are still a few more options to choose from today, but the list gets even smaller if you’re looking for black female superheroes.

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Most kids grow up with a superhero he worships. Maybe it’s Wonder Woman, The Flash, Superman, Supergirl, or Batwoman, but either way there is usually a hero that a child is looking at. Why? Research shows that so-called “over-identity” can help children develop moral values ​​by exploring ideas of right and wrong. Introducing kids to these super-identities is great for their overall development, but when it’s exclusively on white superheroes, you alienate black kids and children of color in general, which can leave them unaddressed, and the idea that only white people can be heroes …

Since art often imitates life, DC Black Lightning and Marvel’s Black Panther were presented to shed light on the racial imbalance surrounding superheroes and as a reflection of the civil rights movement and Black Power.… But while black superheroes hit the comic book scene nearly 60 years ago, the lag in mainstream culture has long-term repercussions.

The shows, books and films that a teenager watched become part of our cultural vocabulary, and they are often referenced years later, when they become adults (word kryptonite still widely used to denote someone’s weakness). It also influences the fashion and style choices and even the careers that people explore because their favorite character may have had the same occupation, such as Clark Kent / Superman, as a writer at the Daily Planet.

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If you’ve ever found yourself on the bad side of a sneaky girl, you know being a teenage girl is hard enough, even without super villains to defeat. That’s why I wish I had a character like Naomi to look up to when I was in high school. Naomi is a black superhero who also happens to be a teenage girl. Perhaps the show reflects the changing perceptions of adolescents – from commonplace and selfish to capable activists who change the world for the better. Can you imagine the power of teenagers seeing themselves reflected in pop culture this way?

The new series, named after the main character, from director Ava Duvernay, will air on Tuesdays. CW and stream for free on the CW app, following the story of a tough, confident, comic-book-loving teen who is chasing his hidden destiny and challenging what it means to be a hero. Like its protagonist, the series defies social norms about what a superhero looks like.

Because there weren’t many superhero characters on screen that looked like me, and the show was like Naomi would make me feel more valuable as a black teenager and validated by my own experience, and would also allow non-colored people to see different points of view on the screen.

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When characters who are not like you are constantly referred to as “good” guys (or girls in my case), it can lead to low self-esteem and, as a result, make it difficult to make dreams come true. Think about it through the lens of a young, impressionable mind. When you’re shown non-white characters over and over again, it’s easy to start believing that what you see on TV is okay in the real world.

Having Naomi in my life would also have a huge impact on my confidence. How not to do this? It would be monumental to see someone like me defeat the bad guys while in high school, which is another superhero force in itself.

Luckily we’ve come a long way since then with shows like Naomi rising to the stage as a superhero show featuring a young black female character in a positive, non-stereotypical light (according to to study from the University of California).

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Television and movies reflect who we are and where we are as a society, so having a massive network making a 17-year-old black man the star of a superhero show is a step in the right direction. But while progress has been made, there is still much to be done.

However, I am grateful for where television and cinema are now, and the knowledge that today’s kids will get the performance they deserve fills me with hope. And knowing that there are shows like Naomi I can watch (I may not be a teenager anymore, but that doesn’t mean I can’t watch a show about a black teenage superhero!), I get excited that me to do. come.

This article was created by KristenBellTattoos.com for the CW.

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