The University of Cincinnati Libraries is hosting the traveling exhibit “Unmasked: Black Heroes in Comics.” On display on the fourth floor of the Walter C. Langsam Library through December 8, the exhibit was curated by the National Afro-American Museum & Cultural Center and on loan from the Ohio History Center.
The museum describes the exhibit as:
Unit 1 of the exhibit starts in the 1930s with the legendary Jackie Ormes, the first Black woman cartoonist. It, and other panels featuring creators includes photos of the artist and examples of their work. Comics highlighted include, All-Negro Comics (1947), the first all-Black created comic book, Ohioan Jay Jackson, who arguably created the first Black superhero ever and Gene Bilbrew, who only recently has had his story revisited. The last panel goes into detail about the current controversy around the first Black superhero and where the research is currently pointing.
Unit 2 covers comics that impacted the Civil Rights Movement and then highlights Black creators entering the mainstream at Marvel and DC. It starts with Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story and Youth in the Ghetto and the Blueprint for Change, two of the rarest comics related to the topic. Billy Graham, the first Black artist at Marvel is covered, along with Trevor Von Eeden, the first Black artist at DC Comics. The display ends with Black Women in Comics and the growing independent comics movement.
Attend the panel “From the Page to the Public Arena: How Comic Books, Graphic Novels, and Superheroes shape the American Experience” on Thursday, Nov. 9, 4pm, Digital Resource Commons in the Walter C. Langsam Library.
The traveling exhibit and corresponding events, is co-sponsored by Central State University and the University of Cincinnati: Academy of Fellows for Teaching and Learning, African American Cultural & Resource Center, Center for Studies in Jewish Education and Culture, Charles Phelps Taft Research Center, College of Arts & Sciences, College of Education, Criminal Justice, Human Services, and Information Technology, Department of Africana Studies, Department of History, Department of Sociology, Oﬃce of the Provost, University Honors Program and the University of Cincinnati Libraries.