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Here’s why what’s going on in the world matters in comics

The change people are protesting for must reach every facet of life, even comics.
Credit: KGW

Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and so many more who died at the hands of police brutality, as well as racial injustices in America.

I am checking in to say: This matters in comics.

If this change that people are protesting for, signing petitions for, and holding people accountable for, does not reach every facet of life, even comics, the world is saying black lives matter only sometimes and in some facets of life.

Black lives matter, are precious, and black voices are needed. Voices of people of color are valid and the life experience and talent that they bring to the table needs to be recognized in comics too.

I am a white comic reviewer and it is my job to uplift diverse voices. I have reviewed comics created by POC since the YouTube channel’s inception. However, it was never a super conscientious decision, and I want to be better about it. In the past, I have picked comics created by women in the name of diversity, as the comics industry is predominantly white men, but that is no longer good enough.

Hi! I'm Destiny Johnson and I am a digital reporter at KGW in Portland, Oregon. Chat with me about comics, movies, games and all manner of nerd stuff!

There are many things you can do.

Not everyone can protest and that’s OK. You can donate to local or national organizations, read material that can help you understand systemic racism and why it affects black people every moment of every day, and then take that knowledge and spread it. Tell it to people who want to listen and those who don’t. Tell it to the people in your life so they know where you stand and you know where they stand, because it is not OK to be passive anymore. We must be vehemently anti-racist. We have no other choice.

Be mad and stay mad. Elevate black voices, support black-owned businesses locally and on the internet, and there are even playlists on YouTube where the ad revenue is being donated, so if you don’t have the financial means to donate you can help that way. I urge you to Google ways to help and understand what is happening.

Don’t forget to support black and POC comic creators and entertainment journalists. I would remiss if I did not mention my pals over at News 19 Nerds. They talk about all manner of nerd stuff, shows, video games, movies and of course comics.  

A place for shenanigans, half thought out analysis on all things nerd related, paired with sarcasm as we attempt world domination while employed by News19.

But it’s not just them there are so many creators in the comics realm, or comics entertainment journalism realm you can support. I also enjoy:

Black Gay Comic Geek on YouTube

SyFy Fangrrls on Twitter

Black Nerd Problems on Twitter

Jonathanbelle on Instagram (an amazing black Superman cosplayer)

Cosplaynay on Instagram (the Miles Morales cosplayer in New York carrying the Black Trans Lives Matter sign, a recent follow and has filled my timeline with nothing but amazing images.)

Do a little bit of research to find more diverse voices in the comics realm, I implore you. I am doing the same.

That being said, the next video posted on the channel will include some comics by a white dude, so I don’t want you to think that I am saying this for no reason. There is content coming! And if I am ever stepping out of line, I want to hear from you guys. I want to hear all your constructive feedback as we grow as a community together. You can email me at djohnson@kgw.com and I'm always on Twitter @hello_destiny.

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