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Writers who delve into the Black comic world

by Ron Wolfe | April 11, 2021 at 2:15 a.m.

Oscar Dunn was an "incorruptible leader," according to historian W.E.B. DuBois — Dubois, another name from Black history that can be found in comics.

Dubois is translated to comics along with works by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston in the Graphic Classics collection, "African-American Classics: Great Stories and Poems from America's Earliest Black Writers."

Meanwhile, some of today's best-known Black writers turn their talents directly to writing for and about comics:

◼️ N.K. Jemisin. The Hugo Award-winning science fiction writer ("The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms") came up with her own Green Lantern character, Sojourner "Jo" Mullein, for DC Comics.

Jemisin's character joins a roster of other Black superheroes: Luke Cage, Storm, Falcon, Black Lightning — even a version of Spider-Man with Afro-Latino teenager Miles Morales cast as the web-spinner.

◼️ Walter Mosley. "Maximum Fantastic Four" is the bestselling crime novelist's tribute to the comic books that made him want to become a writer — Stan Lee's tales of Mr. Fantastic and The Thing, as sock-pow illustrated by Jack "King" Kirby.

◼️ Ta-Nehisi Coates. His memoir "Between the World and Me" won the National Book Award. But comics readers know him for his take on the African king T'Challa of Marvel Comics' Black Panther, with artist Brian Stelfreeze.

"What's the good of getting a MacArthur genius grant," Coates said on National Public Radio, "if you can't go and write a comic book for Marvel?"

[RELATED: Unsung and unknown — Graphic biography details life of first Black lieutenant governor, Oscar Dunn]

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