Superheroes for black girls to look up to is definitely a topic I keep close to my heart. I have a little black girl of my own you see. A little black girl who loves superheroes, mostly due to her father’s unnatural love of fake people with super powers.
My daughter loves DC Girls, Starfire, and the Marvel Fortnite season. Watching her watch superhero cartoons reminds me of my youth. It also brings up how few heroes I could identify with as a child. So this post is for my daughter and all the little brown girls (and their parents) who are looking for super cool brown ladies with amazing abilities.
Wrestling is a business built on larger-than0life personas. There is no persona larger than that of Trinity Fatu a.k.a Naomi. Her “Feel The Glow” anthem is one of the greatest entrances and WWE custom titles ever. Naomi is an amazing competitor, skilled on the mic, and positive to a fault. She even went out of her way to dress up as DC’s Bumblebee during her 2019 Money in the Bank match. Synergy, people. We brought it back to superheroes.
Say hello to the smartest person in the world, Lunella Lafayette, a.k.a Moon Girl. She is Marvel’s premiere intellect, inventor, and outcast on the playground. Her giant freaking Dinosaur friend definitely helps when it comes to defeating evil, but when she can’t rely on all those teeth and stubby armed carnage, Moon Girl uses her vast intellect to construct wacky inventions to solve her problems. Use that brilliant mind, girl!
Who protects the king but the greatest warriors available? In Wakanda, the most technologically advanced nation in the world, those warriors are the Dora Milaje. An all-female battalion of opposition-crushing power. The Dora Milaje loyally protect T’Challa and his royal family and have no plans of failing in their sworn duties.
The mutant weather witch known as Storm. Ororo Munroe is one of Marvel’s premiere heroes with some of the most far-reaching, incredible powers in comics. She can control the weather. There was once a tornado in Brooklyn. It was small, but he wreaked havoc on a bunch of hipster stores and chucked hacky sacks all across the gentrified borough. Storm can make that happen, but like….way stronger. Imagine the chaos.
Did you happen to catch Luke Cage on Netflix? Did you see Simone Missick kill it as the metal-armed cop Misty Knight? If you did, then you know this character is bad-ass. If not, allow me to explain. Misty Knight is a metal-armed cop who starts a private investigation agency with her friend Colleen Wing. Colleen is a ninja. The agency is called Daughters of the Dragon and these two Powerful Women of Color whoop everyone’s ass in sight. See? Bad-ass.
Skyward’s Willa Fowler is the jovial, care-free hero who uses her world’s lack of gravity to ultimately save it. Willa is a regular kid. She likes a boy, she has a job, her father dotes on her and she can fly. Wait, that last one is only applicable to the people in her story but you get the idea.
Kamala Khan is the bright-eyed, ever optimistic young Avenger known as Ms. Marvel. She has a myriad of powers including a healing factor and the ability to elongate. Her greatest strength is her willingness to jump into any fray to help those in need. She aims to understand who she is and how she fits in to the world, all while appeasing her strict parents. Sound familiar?
Nu’Bia is the one, true Wonder Woman. She says so herself. This Amazonian warrior takes the title of Woman Woman during the Injustice 2 series after Diana goes all bad guy with Superman. Nu’Bia has a long history of getting in Diana’s face and letting her know who is the true princess of Themyscira. She is also the main Wonder Woman in a DC universe of all Black superheros. Because of course there is one of those and of course she is.
Auntie Monica is the light of the Marvel Universe. No kidding, she is made of pure energy and can take on the properties of any energy within the electromagnetic spectrum. She holds the title as the first Black woman to lead The Avengers, as well as taking up the mantle of Ms. Marvel. She’s a skilled combatant and one of the strongest beings in the Marvel Universe. Beat that, Blue Marvel.
Who needs Iron Man when you have Riri Williams’ Ironheart? Not only is she an expert engineer, reverse engineering Tony Stark’s tech to create her own Ironheart suit, but shes also a full on genius. Black super geniuses are hard to come by, but the ones that do exist in comics are usually Black girls. Throw Riri in a room with Moon Girl and watch them solve all the worlds problems. Oh, and Riri will do it in a custom suit of Ironheart battle armor.
This one is personal and that’s OK, I am biased. I want my daughter to look at me and see a superhero. She deserves a dad she can be proud of and aspire to emulate his values. My daughter makes me want to be better, stronger, funnier, more loving. The list goes on. If I can become a hero in my daughter’s eyes, I will have found the light of life. That isn’t hyperbole, folks. My dad was my hero, and he lives on through me. I want to be that for my baby girl when I am gone. What will I leave behind? My hope is a daughter who looks back on her dad and calls him “hero”.
There are so many more entries I can add but I think you have enough to get started. Look these characters up, read their stories, share them with little powerful girls of color if you can. I’ll keep looking and will post more soon.
Check out our sister “The importance of superhero representation for Black women” piece here. Continue to create and support the growing list of Powerful Women of Color in media. Representation matters. Always.
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