The internet is rife with posts on how to be a good ally these days. The intended audience is generally the layperson who may feel paralyzed in their fear of saying the wrong thing or acting in the face of what seems like overwhelming odds stacked against the oppressed. However, what about those on the stage? What information and pressure is being exerted in order to make sure that those with significant voice and power are standing up for the rights of their coworkers and fellow performers? Before we touch upon currently trending “we believe in you” hashtags, let’s examine two examples (one popularly known, one less so) of two well-known actors who became privilege-flexing allies, starting with one of the most famous and problematic movies in cinema: Gone With The Wind. Continue reading “Stand (Or Sit) By Me: Allies in Entertainment”
Hi y’all, and greetings from Atlanta GA! I’m happy to hand over the reins to this week’s guest author: Michael M. Khorshidianzadeh is a High School World History teacher and was born and raised in Brockton Mass. He is of Iranian and French Canadian descent and is part of the first generation on his Iranian families side to be born the United States. Michael’s wife is of Colombian origin and his daughter is a wonderful mix of all 3 backgrounds. Michael is an avid Star Trek fan and a believer in the Vulcan concept of infinite diversity in infinite combinations. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his family, drinking coffee, reading and wondering how to save to world.
Nearly 80 years have passed since Superman and Batman’s first publication. The world of 1938 and 39 was one of impending war, growing fascism, institutionalized racism, corruption in the law and business, sexism, enforced inequality, domestic abuse and criminal gangs populated by people who saw crime as a lucrative and more accessible way to make money than an honest day’s work. Superman and Batman served as escapist fantasy for people from their everyday lives. They were heroes created in the images of what their creators wanted to see in the world. The fantasy was that criminals and bad people who couldn’t be stopped by the police for whatever reason could be stopped by vigilante justice.
Comic book heroes, particularly the mainstream heroes like Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, the X-Men, Avengers, and the Justice League, just to name a few, are well known because they all successfully addressed crucial issues and concerns of the time and in many ways, still do. Paradoxically, though the heroes don’t seem to come from all walks of life. It isn’t bad that nearly all of the major heroes are apparently what most people would consider “white”. No apology is needed by the creators or readers nor is any in depth explanation needed as to why they the heroes are predominantly “white” Americans.
The creation of white heroes is not a problem. What is a problem is the notion that by default, heroes should be white or that a person of color can’t be cast or take on the identity of a character which was originally white. Continue reading “Guest Post: Modern Heroes”