|Mahogany Mobs attack people nationwide. We tolerate this because of Selma|
It all started here.
In the coming weeks, I plan on traveling to Detroit, Chicago, Birmingham, and Atlanta. More videos will be made. People must know the truth - indeed, most already do and move as far away from it as possible - about what happened to these cities.
On Monday of next week, Captain America and Whiteness will be released in book form. How fitting that Marvel decided to kill off the superfluous - and very white - Peter Parker and replace him with a half-Black/half-Hispanic Spider-Man. For a donation of $50 or more, I'll send you a signed copy of both Captain America and Whiteness and Hollywood in Blackface. If you have not received your copies yet from a prior donation, please send me a private e-mail and I'll get copies of all three published books to you.
Readers have been incredibly generous (considering what happened to me and the outpouring of support) but if you can make another donation, we can move-up the plans to travel to other cities and document what has been left behind. It's a lot to ask, but remember, no one else is doing it.
The decision by Marvel to create a non-white Spider-Man is not one to take lightly. Spider-Man is arguably the second most recognizable superhero, after Bruce Wayne/Batman. Only the Dark Knight made more money then any of the three Sam Raimi Spider-Man films of the 2000s. The three Spider-Man films made more than $1 billion combined at the domestic box office.
All three nearly made a billion dollars each in the global box office. An article at ABC.com back in 2009 tried to explain his appeal:
For a nerd, Spider-Man's not doing so bad these days — after 40 years of web-slinging, he's got a new movie and has managed to remain hip with youngsters while staying true to his aging longtime fans.
From billboards in New York's Times Square to toy stores, book shelves and even music stores, Marvel Comics' flagship character seems to be everywhere as his fans await Friday's opening of the Spider-Man movie. However, Spider-Man's enduring popularity has little to do with his ability to climb walls, his super-human strength, or his somewhat creepy-yet-cool costume.
Fans have loved Spider-Man because he has trouble paying his rent. He was not the most popular guy in school and does not always get the girl. Comic book readers — or "true believers," as Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee likes to refer them — have followed the web-slinger for so long because his very human alter-ego is Peter Parker, who struggles with the same everyday life issues as everyone else.
"He was just like an everyman," said Ken Feliu, a 29-year-old commercial production director and lifelong comic book reader. "Batman had his secret identity but Bruce Wayne was a millionaire. Superman had his alter-ego [Clark Kent], but he was still Superman.
"With Spider-Man, he had his aunt nagging him, he had to get through school, he had to deal with his life, he had to hold down a job. He almost seemed like a regular guy," said Feliu. "Here's a guy who, while swinging from building to building on his way to fight Doc Ock [Dr. Octopus], is also thinking, 'Oh man, how am I gonna pay the rent tomorrow?'"
Spider-Man learned a lesson that his Uncle Ben tried to teach him shortly before Ben's death: With great power comes great responsibility.
The ‘Peter Parker’ in All of Us
From the beginning, readers clearly saw Spider-Man's humanity and vulnerability. Even with his powers, he could not protect his loved ones from harm and was not immune from the hardships of daily life — two long-running themes of the Spider-Man comic books. Readers saw a bit of themselves in Spider-Man.
"With Batman and Superman, both characters made a conscious choice to use their powers for good, to devote their lives to fighting evil," said M. Thomas Inge, professor of English and the Humanities at Randolph-Macon College in Virginia. "Superman was born with his powers and Batman devoted his life toward avenging the murder of his parents. Peter Parker became a superhero by accident. He's 15 to 16 years old, unpopular in high school, he has acne, he's got a lot of problems. To a certain extent, he had no choice in that his powers were a gift thrust upon him.
"We can all be Peter Parkers," Inge added. "It feeds into our typical fantasy of wanting to escape our characters. We'd all like to escape our characters sometime and be someone else."
“What you have is a Spider-Man for the 21st century who’s reflective of our culture and diversity,” Marvel Editor-in-Chief Axel Alonso told NBC. “We think that readers will fall in love with Morales the same way they fell in love with Peter Parker.”
Marvel’s inspiration for this change-up in the series may be partially inspired, said the report, by fans themselves. When director Marc Webb undertook the task of rebooting Spider-Man in cinematic form (in the upcoming 2012 film, The Amazing Spider-Man), a grassroots online effort tried to get Webb to cast Donald Glover, an African American actor, in the lead role. These fans maintained that Glover’s race had nothing to do with the basic story and core elements of who Peter Parker was.
That role was, however, taken by Andrew Garfield, who is white.
As for the comics, characters fans love will still make appearances, like Peter’s Aunt May and girlfriend Gwen Stacy (who will also appear in the upcoming film). They will reportedly help Morales in his transition from a young teen into a web-slinging New York City superhero.
Sarah Pichelli, an Italian artist who created a new image for Spider-Man, said, “Maybe sooner or later, a Black or gay hero will be considered something absolutely normal.”
With Spider-Man’s endless popularity and such an unprecedented move by Marvel, it would appear that this is already happening.
As you'll learn in Captain America and Whiteness, the burden of the whiteness that DC and Marvel's heroes all share must be rectified; what's hilarious is that Marvel decided to change Spider-Man and announce it right when I published a book on the subject. Gotta love the timing of the book.
This is why you should write about what you know. For me, it's college football, pop culture, movies, etc. By starting SBPDL, that forum slowly arose for me to write about other topics I'm interested in; thank you for allowing me to do just that.