Photo Courtsey of Pixababy
In a world where Black history and culture has become a looming figure in conversation, a renaissance has arrived to break the phantom of our stories out of the silence. And Connie Collins plans to be among the vanguard.
As of October 10, 2016, Collins has begun fundraising to create a series of Black history comic books. Donations to her GoFundMe will go toward bringing centuries of Black history to life in animated comic book form. Proceeds will also help her to hire quality writers, animators, and historical consultants who will assist her in producing the best product possible. The comics will include figures from the past like Harriet Tubman, Mary McLeod Bethune, and Frederick Douglas, civil rights activists like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, as well as Black heroes of the present like Colin Kaepernick and Bree Newsome. The history of African Americans in the United States will be told in colorful captivating fashion for young audiences nationwide. Comic books in the United States have long been understood as a vehicle for fictional stories of the sci-fi or fantasy genre that utilize the comic strip structure to tell stories visually and in a uniquely intimate manner. But, Collins plans to change this.
Photo Courtesy of Connie Collins re her GoFundMe
The use of newer mediums to teach history is on the rise, and the use of comic books as a means to tell the stories of African Americans is somewhat unheard of. This is not because they have never existed but rather because they rarely enter the canon of American comic books.
Comic book series like Golden Legacy, for example, have carved out a niche of their own in this department. Boasting a collection of 16 volumes which offer dynamic biographical accounts of the achievements of Black people in the United States, Golden Legacy has directed their comics toward the alternative education markets. This being said, Collins’ plans to include modern day examples of Black history puts her comics in an automatic lane of their own. With the possibility of relevant updates, Collins’ comics have the potential to capture not only the history of Blackness in this country but also its evolution and nuance in the present day. For those of us unable to deny history’s impact on our lives, it is necessary to understand the past as well as its impact on the present. But as important as it is for us to prepare ourselves with knowledge of the world around us, it is equally important that we protect ourselves from all the pain the past and present has to offer. So, donate to Collins’ Black History Comic book fund but also buy a copy of Amandla’s Niobe. Everything in moderation, my friends. We deserve a helping of Black fantasy in addition to all the stories of Blackness on record. It seems that comics may very well be the medium through which we can access our past, present, and future. It is possible that comic books understand time differently and this is what makes them such a common tool in stories of the future. And. If anyone needs stories for the future it's us. As Paul D says to Sethe, in Toni Morrison’s Beloved, "me and you, we got more yesterday than anybody. We need some kind of tomorrow”.
You can support Connie here: https://www.gofundme.com/BlackHistoryComics
Written By Jordan McDonald