Monday, November 2, 2009
Superman Fights The KKK
I love it when comic book culture tackles taboos. I was under the impression that it was only was drugs, sex, and other things. However, they also tackled racism, but not in a traditional sense. They didn't attack racism via comic books as much as a Superman radio program began to reveal all the inside secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, ultimately weakening their overall reach and educating an audience that might otherwise never have found out the intricate details of the most racist group in the United States....well, at least one of the most racist.
In the 1940s, The Adventures of Superman was a radio sensation. Kids across the country huddled around their sets as the Man of Steel leapt off the page and over the airwaves. Although Superman had been fighting crime in print since 1938, the weekly audio episodes fleshed out his storyline even further. It was on the radio that Superman first faced kryptonite, met Daily Planet reporter Jimmy Olsen, and became associated with “truth, justice, and the American way.” So, it’s no wonder that when a young writer and activist named Stetson Kennedy decided to expose the secrets of the Ku Klux Klan, he looked to a certain superhero for inspiration.
Info and more via Mental Floss Blog
And you thought that those times were simpler? Sounds complicated to me...well...maybe not that complicated.