“Ms. Alicia, Why are all the super hero girls white? How come there are no brown girl super heroes like Ruby Rails in Goldie Blox? Brown girls like me can be super heroes, too.”
My African-American K2 student, Mae, asked this during science class. I responded by saying, “There are! Catwoman in Batman was played by two African-American women like us. Their names are Eartha Kitt and Haley Berry. I will get pictures of them and show you.” UPDATE: There’s also the Tibeb Girls of Ethiopia, as well Dr. Dee Dee Dynamo, an adventurous brown girl superhero created by surgeon Dr. Oneeka Williams. You should check out these amazing projects!
This encounter led me to think about how I could develop a student-centered curriculum that incorporated Mae’s question. I began researching super heroes of color at the Lego Store, Newbury Comics and experts in the field of female superheroes of color, and what emerged was the Brown Girls Can be Super Heroes, Too Project.
Students guided the curriculum by creating their own super hero comic books, posters and the building of a super hero city where “Every Super Hero will be welcomed,” according to my student, Hooda. I purchase the comic books and characters that represented Latina, Arabic, Asian and African-American and White super hero girls.
I hope that you enjoy the photos showing the final project of our 2016-2017 school year!
Super Hero City Photos