Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Is Black Adam a Black Super Hero?

If you don't already know Black Adam you should know he is from the Captain Marvel (SHAZAM!) mythos. His power comes from a magic word that, when uttered, endows him with the power of the gods. He is not dark-skinned but he is Egyptian as are the gods from whom he derives his powers. He's a bad man with an even worse attitude. READ MORE...


samax said...

i've always considered Black Adam to be black. i never gave it much thought.

ch555x said...

From an American perspective, sure thing. Outside, maybe. It just depends on who you're asking.

Superhero 411 said...

I have also considered Black Adam as African American given his origin. He has one of the most intersting origins.

Darkness U.S.A said...

there was a period in Egypt's history where there were "black" pharaohs but I think Black Adam is an Arab Egyptian so he is African but not black.

Anonymous said...

Just one minor point.... African equals black... The Egyptians where and are from Africa...

Anonymous said...

I agree... Egyptians are not "white"... Africa was not a European love shack. Even the closed minded American census burough wanted to classify Egyptians as white... Why, I do not know.... BTW, Cleopatra was an African Queen! not some white woman in a bad wig. Yes, Mark Anthony was in love with a black woman.... Hate to burst bubbles but look it up...I did!!!!

Young said...

Black and African is synonymous. Black just comes with a negative connotation so people with a actual race title (e.g Arab, Moor, Egyptian) prefer to be called by their respective titles. I say this to also say that no matter what your title--to society- You are black so get over it. Let's make Black positive again!

Don Julian said...

I like this site! There's a lot to learn about cool characters I knew nothing about and links referring to interesting comics and websites.
Thanks for that!

About Black Adam.
What is black?
Not to kick up dust but if Teth-Adam is originally from ancient Egypt, then that's what he is - Egyptian. Not Arab, neither European / Caucasian nor Black.
Just like another North African people the Azouagh (or Berbers) are not Arabian.
From what I've seen from hieroglyphs the old Egyptians when referring to themselves always coloured themselves a light brown, not pink. For other African peoples they used a darker brown and for non-Africans, the Semite and Jafetite (or Arian) tribes a much lighter colour than their own.
If one can believe Biblical references for Egyptian origins, it says they are descendent from Mizraim, son of Ham, brother to Kush (Ethiopia), Lud (Libya) and Canaan (Phoenicia) among others. Arab peoples are said to be Semite, not Hamite. Many scholars state that all (dark brown / black) African peoples are descendent from Ham, so that would make the Egyptians African by default, but! not necessarily black. Compare this to the fact that the descendants of Canaan had a white / Mediteranean skincolour. And they were also living in north Africa, the city Carthage being founded by Phoenicians.
Also ancient Egyptians had more in common culturally with other Africans than Europeans.
Ofcourse these things happened thousands of years ago in a region wich has been and still is very turbulent, no one can say for sure how the divergence of the tribes and peoples of that region truly went.
So, if one accepts that premiss, ancient Egypt was African but not black, at least in skincolour.

So what does "Black" mean?
Superhero 411 says Black Adam is African-American, this is erronous, he's not American he's Egyptian.
Anon 2 is also mistaken to say Cleopatra was black. She was a direct descendant of one of the 4 generals who divided up Alexander the Great's empire, who were Greek and Macedonian. And they married inside their own family, to keep their "royal" line pure.

So what is Black?
Don't forget that Indonesian Papuas and Australian Aborigines are also Black, but they're not African.
Unless you believe the evolutionary theory that all humans are originally from Africa, which is also a possibility.
But that would make every human an African and thus Black, even Europeans and Asians and Native Americans! ;-)

Complicated what?

Just throwing it out there.
Sorry for the length of my comment. This post just resonated with me.

Thanks again for this nice blog!

Don Julian

wallruss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wallruss said...

Wow! Thanks for all the great information and comments. Question: If Black Adam is not Black then what is he? I mean in modern day terms, not old testament terms. If you say Egyptian then I'll just ask if Egyptians are Black. Can we pin this down?

Young said...

Okay let me break it down so it can for ever be broken. BLACK ISN'T A RACE PEOPLE! BLACK IS A COLOR NOT A RACE!

But, because the African (Egyptian, Moor, Liberian, Arab, African America and or Negro, etc.)have ties to Africa and society can't get away with calling us Ni**ers in public (unless in a rap video or we're doing to ourselves) the color BLACK has become synonymous with any race of people from this part of the world. So we have allowed ourselves to be titled as BLACKS and then we think low of it when in fact it is the most powerful color in the box. Try coloring with any other color over BLACK and see what happens. It dominates the page! So I say, yes Black Adam is Black and for that matter so is any other character with origins from the mother land.. heck, truth be told any character who has its origins from anywhere on Earth (as far as their back story) had to originate from the first man/woman if they're humanoids and therefore they're BLACK too! Whether they like it or not :)


Don Julian said...

Greetings again!

Seems to be a popular topic what?

@ Wallruss:
Well I think it depends on who'd you ask.
Modernday Egyptians when asked what they are, are more likely to say they're Egyptian or possible Arab than Black.

You know what's strange,
where I live in Holland
there are schools with predominantly second and third generation non-native Dutch children, which are called "Black schools" in contrast with "White
schools" where there are more traditionally Dutch children. Now what's strange is this:
most children in the "Black schools" are etnic Turks or Moroccan, both groups have white skincolours! Turks are even more "Caucasian" than Europeans (you know, cause their homelands are situated across the actual Caucasus mountains).
Goes to show the inherent Euro-centric view (even in the US) of labeling people White / Black.

My personal view is people with very dark skincolours are "Black", people with very light skincolours are "White" and "Brown" with most shades in between. So darkskinned Africans (Bantu peoples, Ethiopians, Somali) are Black and lightskinned Africans (Berbers, Libyans, Egyptians) are White.
Ofcourse I am well aware this is a simple statement on a matter of such great complexity. Ultimately one has to decide for oneself, how to view people of different origins.

btw. I agree with Young,
Black is beautiful. There is NOTHING wrong with saying one is Black, nothing to be ashamed about. "Black" or "Negro" (like Smokey said: "Black" in Spanish) are not inherently insults in many languages. The n-word most certainly is.
I myself wouldn't like to be called the Dutch equivalent for N****r (just replace the double g in English, with double k), but if people say I'm Black or even dark ("een donkere jongen" a dark boy), well...yeah, I am dark of skin, I'm not ashamed of that!

I've been blathering on again, sorry.
Thanks for the opportunity to react.

Don Julian

wallruss said...

Always a pleasure @Don Julian and thanks for making your point clearly and peacefully.

Young said...

You know Don Julian it would be cool if people were made color blind to skin tone and labeling but that just isn't reality unfortunately.

I say, If you can draw, model, or animate, I say create your own worlds and characters and tell your stories through them. Get the word out that people of color are beautiful, powerful, and valuable and help to end this cursed mental state that we are living in right now. It's about progression and the future brother. Let's not let the mentalities of the past or present hold us back from our desired futures!

Take care

DJ Black Adam said...

Being Black in the West had never meant being 100% Khosai or Bantu or whatever. Black is a social invintion made by white europeans to make themselves feel superior. As I say when White folks point out that Barack Obama is half-white, if the man was robbing a store, he'd be black, so let him be black when he is president. In the same matter, Black adam is BLACK.

Afua Richardson said...

Think about it- If someone is of African decent and they were born in america or is an american citizen then they are what? African American... aka Black - I dunnoooo but last i checked Egypt WAS in africa...

AirHarp said...

The people from Africa I have met consider them selves not to be "Black". "Black" is a term to mean dark skinned people from Africa via slave trade. Trace who have been labeled w/ the word and you willl see what I mean:
Slave>Negro>Colored>Black>Afro-American>African American (shortened version)
Just b/c you are from Africa it does not mean you are "Black". There has ALWAYS been White Africans. But you would not call them "Black".
Is Teth Adam "Black". No. GOD knows I wish he was. We (Black people) need a good anti-hero like him.
BTW...If you use "Black" and "African-American" interchangeably then by words their selves Teth Adam is not "Black". "Africa-AMERICAN". Teth Adam is not American so he can't be "African-American".

Anonymous said...

Well why don't we all just get to the real point here!! Based on scientific findings, we and I do mean "WE", all came from Africa. So technically we all black on the inside. At least from a base line DNA perspective. SO really, it dont matter. BLACK is BLACK. But then again so are you!!

Have a nice one folks!!