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By Susan Killenberg McGinn
July 5, 2011
During the Golden Age of Comic Books — from the late 1930s to mid-1950s — famous superheroes were introduced, such as Superman, Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman. Rarely would people find African-Americans as central characters in comic books during that era.
“Blacks appeared in comic books and comic strips during this era largely as savage ‘jungle natives,’” Gerald Early explains, “or as racially demeaning caricatures like Ebony White, the sidekick of Will Eisner’s The Spirit, or Lothar, the exotic sidekick of Lee Falk’s Mandrake the Magician. Having blacks in comic books in non-racist ways was very rare. And there has not been a great deal written about blacks during this time who may have drawn or written comics.”
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