We Need Better Black Characters in Media
Happy Monday, dear comic reader, I supposed you could say I had one of those Tony Robbins/Oprah moments and had a few thoughts about my why as in one of the reasons why I decided to create Becky...and I wanted to share some of them with you.
A big reason for writing "Becky" is I want to create an IP with quality Black characters in healthy relationships with one another.
Too many times, Black characters are oversimplified and downright insulting cartoonish images of what Black Americans really are. A recent sketch from Saturday Night Live demonstrates the offensive way in which Black people are viewed.
Other media pieces serve to present simplistic views of how Black men and women should interact with one another and suggest that the guise of sexual interaction is the only reason to speak with the opposite gender. Programs like Insecure and artists like Megan the Stallion promote this to Black women while Black men are fed a steady diet of violence, early death, and the idea that sexual prowess is your currency, a la programs like Power and Snowfall.
And when Black Americans are taken seriously, it is usually in the gaze of what I call "Black struggle films" such as 12 Years A Slave or American Skin. While these IPs do treat Black Americans with a certain level of gravitas, it is usually in the context of some sort of struggle and never from a place of power.
However, please do not think I am writing this from some high mountain of judgment. I am sure that I can go through "Becky" and find instances where I could have added more quality to a Black character. I don't claim to have all the answers, but I do think it's something that should be discussed.
Soooo....is "Becky" some Christian cult Bible comic book? Hell no! I just believe you can have a fun web comic that everyone can love and not have to offend Black characters. In Becky, Shay and Eric are terrorized by the shape shifter and while they nearly come to blows over it, this Black couple is handled with care and respect. Obliviously Becky messes some things up for them, but at its heart, I want my story to have quality Black representation. Check out the Black characters for "Becky" on the gogetbecky.com homepage.
What do you think? Is my assessment of Black representation correct or do you have a different opinion? What do you think of the Black characters in Becky? Let me know in the comments and I will be sure to answer.
Fobbs The Writer