Occasionally, I post syllabi ideas here on the blog. Today, I want to share a syllabus I have been thinking about recently entitled “African American Literature and the American South.” The South, as a geographic and imaginary space, looms large in the works of not just African American authors but in writers of all ethnic backgrounds from the United States. Maryemma Graham discusses the South’s continual pull in this manner:
Last post, I wrote about how Stan Lee and Jack Kirby position the audience in Fantastic Four #52-#53. Today, I want to expand upon that discussion some and examine the ways that readers responded to T’Challa’s debut in the letters section a few issues later. A coupe of weeks ago, I wrote about Henry B. Clay III’s praise of Black Panther’s debut; however, not everyone expressed the same amount of excitement as Clay did. Before looking at the fan feedback, I want to touch on the end of Fantastic Four #53 after the FF and T’Challa defeat Klaw.
Recently, I’ve been interested in the narrative point of view in various texts and the ways that authors position an audience within the narrative. One one level, some African American authors like William Melvin Kelley places audiences in the perspective of whites: “The Only Man on Liberty Street,” “The Servant Problem,” and A Different Drummer. Other authors such as Ernest J. Gaines, James Baldwin, Alice Walker, and Gwendolyn Brooks do this as well, and this is a topic I want to explore further in my research. Along with these examples, I also want to examine the ways that comic book writers position readers. I’ve written about this some with Christopher Priest’s use of Everett K. Ross to narrate his Black Panther run. Today, I want to look briefly at the ways Jack Kirby and Stan Lee position the reader in Black Panther’s first appearance in Fantastic Four #52-#53 and some of the reader responses to this initial introduction.