Why we need African Heroes that are real or relatable.

Blessed Love to One and All. I was proud to partake in the overwhelming viewing of ” Black Panther” mostly because it was an opening to African Heroes. So far popular African superheroes are created by Europeans, a play of cliche symbolism, often glorifying hood life or jungle themes, all of which is dismal. We are in an age where the dawn of media has begun. This is because Journalism as we know it was not intended to teach or enforce indigenous history or self respect of or for people of color. Only in the this time of the internet and technology are we just beginning to enter the playing field.

Ras Elijah Tafari all rights reserved.

Ras Elijah Tafari all rights reserved.

As I learn more I see that we share certain joys.. One being, we love true stories, they often are more deeper than anyone could imagine. Second being that historically we have been sharing history and stories with art for tens of thousands of years. Unlike “Red Tails” that was the first all Black WW2 movie that audiences did not support, this is an opening for younger audiences to explore many true heroes and more. As I have previously written about doing comic books about the saints and martyrs, there is still more..there is the ability to tackle issues that we have yet to address or solve. This leads to the Third point. Substance.

Using the Black Panther movie as an example, the topic of the movie was one that left the audience  at large at odds with who is good and who is bad. The good guy wasn’t good nor the bad, bad, and this isn’t in the legacy of “anti heroes”. I feel that the topic of African American relations with Africa is something that shouldn’t be scratched on, because it was it was an opening. Like the movie that had a weak ending and the after the credit scene should have been at the end to add some closure, we have been sucked into a subject that really opens a wound that needs addressing. Because there was not any closure, but rather a war over psychology we witness rather than a consensus or union, black on black violence action scenes that are far too familiar as a traditional ending to a superhero movie. It cut itself short, due to the psychology that brought us the movie. Was it done so it would enact a reasoning about African American feelings of abandonment by Africans, or was it done to add a level controversy that could arise further news and relevance to the movie? Whether I liked the movie or not was no longer as important than the person in the first row that did not understand the moral of the story. And was the moral really whitewashed because the idea of Black Liberation is watered down by the threat violent insurrection in the United States. I felt the ending was a clear example and open door to why more African and dignified endings can occur that promote resolution. We have seen Africans and African Americans pitted against each other for years, and as an African I can see some of the points that were misunderstood by common audiences.  One being, the perspective of outsiders period. The idea of unity, whether African Unity or not is a relative new idea, the world has been built on mistrust, and invasion, not compromise. We are in a new time, where sharing technology and information is in our favor. Historically I think we all were more guarded. In the spirit of sharing education, I think it is time we as Africans from all nationalities, highlight African Heroes that are real and relatable.

Sudanese Lion

Sudanese Lion

Could it be that these “Heroes” are actually a way to avoid the lack of history and knowledge or recognizing of ones true culture? When it comes to the USA, the history of comics and its creators would suggest that superheroes were always filling a vacuum that the people were not. When it came to WW2, Superheroes were fighting before the troops, with the exception of the those courageous Garveyites that volunteered to fight in Ethiopia against the Italians. It was Hitler that called Superman a Jew, and the history of the name “Sup-Man” is a term for Wise Man, or Ras Man, derived from the Latin “Sup” meaning, above, beyond, in charge of, in authority over, more than and over.

The Conquering Lion of Judah Burning Eyes Within. Ras Elijah Tafari. 2018

The Conquering Lion of Judah Burning Eyes Within. Ras Elijah Tafari. 2018

I could go into the history of how comics and heroes from Greek times are knock off’s of Africa’s and Hebrew History, but that is not where I am going.  What I am pointing to is a future where comics will be real instrument of learning real culture. I love the Afro-futuristic look, but this is reality I am looking at in the US is real Sci-fi. A people who have lost a culture and yearn for it so much that they will make a mockery of themselves by over praising the film and its power to empower. Was this a moment is African history, yes, but a small one that can only be served by opening it to a bigger and wider audience and subjects. They are, Africans who are educated and want more than carefully planned costumes, but a blue print to self understanding. I have some ideas, and I am excited about joining other creators to make comic books ever grow. We have way to tell the world of who really should have been in countless movies…here are few that left Emperor Haile Selassie I out when it didn’t make sense, ” Nixon, JFK, Malcolm X, All MLK movies, all Nelson Mandela Movies, Winston Churchill Movies, The Butler, King George movies, and the list goes on..” If His Imperial Majesty were in those movies, the Black and African relevance of a Caped Authority and Head, would not be seen as a character that uses violence to solve problems.  This is not the future. The Future is one of Collective Security, and Collective Outlook and International Morality. These idea’s were presented in the Black Panther movie, but scratched..it up us to tend to the real wound which is lack of knowledge of self and Africa. We as indigenous people are going to be the teachers and preservers of our future, it just how we choose to present ourselves and the subject.

Tafari Makonnen to Haile Selassie I  copyrighted by Ras Elijah Tafari and Kurrency King.

Tafari Makonnen to Haile Selassie I copyrighted by Ras Elijah Tafari and Kurrency King.

I would like to join with as many African artists and writers to expand on the topics that we must address inevitably, and do it in many ways. I know it will take all of us who love liberation and I welcome feedback and strength from all and everyone. Free up and link, there are more works to be done. lionartproductions@gmail.com is InI email. Link and lets share on ways of doing things that only we can do, and haven’t been done. This is a new time, where media and information are more of a education tool than ever, where the desire for human rights is stronger and wider proclaimed than ever. It is there fore crucial and a duty to forward in such a pivotal moment to help people as a whole have deeper and more progressive messages and agendas. I hope you have enjoyed the art in the this article. There is more to come, give thanks to Jah for the skills and favor. Now lets get into position so we can use our powers in order and in the aim to preserve and save Life and lives. Jah be with you.

Emperor Haile Selassie I art by Ras Elijah Tafari. all rights reserved.2018

Emperor Haile Selassie I
art by Ras Elijah Tafari. all rights reserved.2018





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