The University of Toronto’s Student Newspaper Since 1880

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‘Ebonic Entity’

A letter from the backpage artist
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MAKENDA MWENDA/THE VARSITY
MAKENDA MWENDA/THE VARSITY

Black History Month (BHM) is a great time to look back and reflect on which spaces Black people are excluded from and fill them. This year, I have been particularly interested in science fiction; from the comics to the movies, there is a distinct pattern of a lack of representation of Black women.

Beyond the token movie like Black Panther or the token character, like Storm from the Marvel comics, we rarely see fully fleshed-out multidimensional Black women in the science fiction genre. I have recently learned not to make critiques on things that I am not willing to actively change, so here is my attempt to fill that space.

I propose ‘Ebonic Entity,’ a series set in outer space featuring strong Black women protagonists. Inspired by Afrofuturism and classic science fiction comics, these works will serve to create characters who Black women can identify with, and will start a conversation about better representation in media.

The purpose of BHM is not just to look back; it is also about looking forward and creating new narratives about Black life, culture, and art. My ‘Ebonic Entity’ series aims to do just that.

Makena Mwenda designed the backpage of this week’s issue in celebration of Black History Month.