black superheroes take over baltimore museum
By Erin White
August 29, 2019
EMPOWERED! Black Action Figures, Superheroes & Collectibles is the dope new exhibition at the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture in Baltimore through February 2020. Featuring two-dozen fictional Black icons from the 1970s to the early 2000s, EMPOWERED shines a historical light on these Black heroes. With life-sized cutouts of Storm and Falcon hanging from the ceiling, appearing to be in flight as patrons make their way through the gallery. Also in the exhibition museum-goers will find 40 other action figures which were gifted to the Lewis by Robert Hall, the retired associate director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Anacostia Community Museum.
“Heroes and sheroes from African American history have so much to do with creating a positive mindset in young kids. In the 1950s and 1960s when I was growing up, we didn’t have that. What we had was ‘Amos ‘n’ Andy’,” said Hall.
From Star Trek to Star Wars, Marvel to DC, Black heroes, villains, and action stars, EMPOWERED! is an expansive window into where fantasy pop culture and Black culture intersection.
“This is a fun exhibition and it’s very relatable. It’s also a teachable moment for our audiences to understand the complex nature of Black superheroes and collectibles,” says Jackie Copeland, Executive Director of the Reginald F. Lewis Museum.
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