by Carol Borden
Ebony White 80.jpg“People don’t realize how a man’s whole life can be changed by one book.”
–Malcolm X / Malik El-Shabazz, The Autobiography of Malcolm X (As Told To Alex Haley)
Running from 1940-1952, Will Eisner’s The Spiritwas a newspaper insert back when publishers could afford to do such awesome things. It features Denny Colt, a detective who comes back to life to fight crime from his secret hide-out in Wildwood Cemetery. The Spirit is indeed everything good anyone has ever written about it—all the joyful adventure, groundbreaking art and genre play. But then there’s Ebony White, the Spirit’s African-American sidekick and driver, all eyes and lips and minstrel show dialect. And I can barely look at him, even though I know I should.
But who is Ebony White?

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