“Here’s an idea… Kamala Khan can teach us just as much about comics as she can about the world.” Mike Rugnetta host PBS Idea Channel
I think with my Black History Month series I’ve made my stance on representation clear. Ms Marvel is a fantastic step in the right direction. I adore how ordinary she is and, as said in the video above, her acceptance of all the pieces that make her, her. She’s every-teenager, while still being Pakistani, Muslim and a geek. I think Mike is a little off about media not changing things however, we are so bombarded by media these days that seeing images and characters like Kamala do help change people’s views. Maybe not the singular bigot but the children of that bigot who will grow up and know him for what he is because their views have been broadened by the media images they’ve seen.
I touched on this in my Black History Month wrap up, I wish I could find some of the more serious articles published at the time, but there is a theory that images of African American presidents in television and movies created a subconscious acceptance that helped President Obama get elected, as noted here in this New York Times article. I’m not sure it’s true but it’s a fascinating idea and could well be. Which means we need more Kamalas if we ever want to move toward a open, accepting, diverse society.
PBS Idea Channel is a Youtube series (there’s also a reddit, and irc, a Facebook page, and a twitter feed) As they describe the show: “Here’s an idea: a PBS show that examines the connections between pop culture, technology and art.” Mike Rugnetta posts new videos every Wednesday.
Kamala Khan: a 16-year-old Muslim girl from New Jersey discovers extraordinary body-morphing powers and follows in the footsteps of her idol, Captain Marvel, to become the new Ms. Marvel. The All-New Marvel Now “Ms. Marvel” is available at your local comic shop (issue #3 on the stands April 16th) and comixology.com.