Grace Gipson on Afrofuturism and Comic Books in Black Perspectives

18 Oct, 2017

Grace Gipson on Afrofuturism and Comic Books in Black Perspectives

Above image from Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Vol. 1.

Grace Gipson writes for the African American Intellectual History Society: Black Perspectives about the role Black women play in the superhero comic book universe.

In the wake of Captain America: Civil War and the appearance of characters T'Challa/Black Panther and Ayo, Black characters - and Black women in particular - have risen to the forefront of conversation among superhero fans and critics alike. Gipson's article delves into how Black women and girls are beginning to have a regular presence within comic book universes, as well as the use of Black comic book characters with an Afrofuturist framing. She further raises the examples of Marvel Comics' Misty Knight and Black Panther (superheros) and Moon Girl/Lunella Lafayette (girls in STEM fields) as evidence. She writes,

"...Comic books can be a medium that integrates Afrofuturism as a genre by providing a fantasy setting and visual storytelling. The growing popularity of Afrofuturism and comic books within popular culture creates innovative approaches to discussing race, gender, science and technology, and fantasy. These growing relationships and narratives are worthy of further investigation."

Read her article in its entirety here.

Ms. Grace Gipson is a doctoral candidate in the African American Studies program with a designated emphasis in New Media at the University of California Berkeley. Grace’s area of research interests center on various representations of race and gender within digital humanities and black popular culture specifically comic books & graphic novels, Afrofuturism and comic books, and race and new media. Additionally, throughout her academic career, Grace has published various articles and book chapters, and has been featured in Huffington Post and In her spare time, Grace is one fourth of the #BlackComicsChat twitter podcast crew, a regular contributor for the website Black Girl Nerds, as well as the Social Media Manager for The Berkeley Graduate.