Badass Black Superheroes And What We Can Learn From Them

The global Black Lives Matter protests means seeing real-life superheroes in inspiring acts of kindness- and their representation in film.

#1. Storm (alias Ororo Munroe)

Source: Ray Ocampo

#2. John Hancock

The amnestic anti-hero, Hancock is over 2000 years old, and struggled with alcoholism and mass destruction of public property from his super-strength every time he got into a fight. His saving grace was a man named Ray Embrey, who helped him fix his public image, and introduced Hancock to his wife Mary. Mary was Hancock’s pre-amnesia lover, and the only other left of their kind. Their proximity led to the loss of both their powers, so Hancock agreed to keep his distance and focus to crime-fighting. Hancock’s story exemplifies how sometimes, it just takes one person reaching out to help someone suffering, and reveal underlying strength, able to overcome their addictions and willing to let go of their past in the face of their duty.

#3. Okoye

Source: HannaFord

#4. Cyborg (alias Victor ‘Vic’ Stone)

Half man, half machine. Teen Titan. Justice Leaguer. Cyborg was born to scientists who conducted some of their tests on him, including increasing his IQ to genius levels. A near-fatal accident destroyed half his body, and his father tried to save him by fusing Stone with cybernetic enhancements, which granted him access to a wide range of weaponry and sonic bombs. Cyborg holds a lot of resentment for this, though, as the fusion was done without his consent and led to him feeling like a monster, telling his father he should have left him for dead, and being rejected by the public due to his appearance. Despite all this, Cyborg continued to try and move on from the psychological trauma with an unbowed conscience, as is evident in him stopping his childhood friend from conducting a racially-motivated terrorist attack on the United Nations.

#5. Blade (alias Eric Brooks)

The half-human, half-vampire who was trained under the tutelage of famed vampire hunter Jamal Afari, Blade acquired his name due to his exceptional skill in weaponry and fighting young vampires. Though orphaned at birth in a brothel after the death of his mother at the hands of a vampire doctor, Blade grew up to remain focused on avenging the death of his mother, and maintained incredible control over his baser desires as a half-vampire. His greatest attribute was his determination to become a better and stronger version of himself every day, both mentally and physically.

These superheroes are examples of how representation works: the industry invests in its audience and makes them feel like they matter, that their issues, traditions, values and beliefs matter.

It encourages young girls to step into fields like technology and martial arts, and teaches boys that strength is more than just physical. Our superheroes inspire us to take that leap of faith, so that maybe, we can be heroes too.



A Generation Z kid studying sociology and searching for the Fortress of Solitude.

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A. Sharma

A Generation Z kid studying sociology and searching for the Fortress of Solitude.