Paul Kersey, SBPDL, August 18, 2011
Captain America and Whiteness: The Dilemma of the Superhero is now available in book form (as well as Kindle) on Amazon.com. Paul Kersey’s third book, Captain America and Whiteness discusses how the superhero genre and comic books provide the last positive roles for white actors to portray heroes in an industry that is attempting to put a black face on every other role.
A sequel to Hollywood in Blackface, Kersey’s latest book collects work from Stuff Black People Don’t Like (SBPDL.com) and combines it with 60 percent new material, providing an important cultural tour for those who long ago put away their comic books.
“With the release of X-Men: First Class, Thor, Captain America: The First Avenger, and Green Lantern this summer, Hollywood studios relied on white actors and stories of white superheroes to bring in more than $550 million combined in the domestic box office. All of the primary actors in these films were white males, at a time when Hollywood is doing everything possible to create a new paradigm where Blackness is viewed as the archetype of ‘cool’ and ‘masculine’,” said Paul Kersey.
The Christian Science Monitor and NPR both published articles bemoaning the whiteness of major comic book characters, though all of the popular characters were created during a time period when the concept of whiteness merely meant you were an American, Kersey said.
Marvel Comics recently decided to try and remove some of the whiteness surrounding its popular superheroes by killing off the white Peter Parker/Spiderman in the Ultimate comic story, replacing him with the half-Black/half-Hispanic Miles Morales.
“It’s political correctness taken to an extreme, especially considering that 90 to 95 percent of comic book fans and buyers are white guys,” said Kersey.
Captain America and Whiteness is 156 pages and is available on Amazon for $13.49 in paperback and $8.80 on Kindle. Chapters include reviews of The Dark Returns, Civil War, and Watchmen comic books; what would a Captain America think of 21st century America?; a look at how the inherent whiteness of comics has helped power Hollywood over the past 12 years; and why whiteness and the concept of the hero go hand-in-hand, plus much more.