Support Shawn's writng with a donation

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Shawn takes takes on Critics of the Isis Series

About a year ago I revisited the Isis character and started a new series of books and eBooks featuring her adventures. My plan was to create a series of stories featuring a positive Black female character that taught a good moral message. But some people want to take my good intentions down a Road to Hell.

Some say I shouldn’t have Isis as a Christian, and that a New Heliopolitan goddess can’t serve God. But as Isis always says in her stories, that’s her religion. She does not worship the gods of New Heliopolis. In her eyes she’s just a member of the family. She wears the ankh necklace as a way to honor her mother and father as stated in the Bible.

The way I see it no one knows how they’re gonna come into this world. It’s the one thing none of us can control. And Isis like the rest of us who were born of human women is trying to make the best of the situation she came into. She learned Christianity growing up and lives to be a light that inspires others. Isis wants to do God’s work, not be worshipped as a goddess. To that end, she uses her New Heliopolitan powers towards helping others on Earth. She serves the people, the people do not serve her.

Others say I’m promoting the worship of false pagan gods. I never intended for Isis to be a way to promote pagan religion or the worship of any god or gods. I originally designed the character to be just like comic book superheroes such as Marvel Comics’ Thor, Xena: Warrior Princess or DC Comics’ Wonder Woman. Fun fantasy that kids and adults of all ages could read and enjoy.
And then there are those that say Isis doesn’t appear Black on the covers. These color struck individuals say she isn’t brown enough. These skintone debaters want to bring their asinine Darkskin/Lightskin argument into my work. To those detractors: I say Black is who you are on the inside whether your skin is as black as coal or as white as an eggshell, it’s the content of your character that makes you Black, not the color of your skin.

I want all my readers to know the Isis I write is a Black woman. My Isis was born in Nubia, a kingdom in Africa. Throughout the stories I write about her golden skin. Golden as in golden brown like my own skin color. She has kinky/curly chestnut hair, which is described by other characters like Raheema Sanders as NATURAL or NAPPY. BLACK character traits. In the first Isis story Isis, she clearly states that Black people in America have skin her color and hair her texture. And the main reason she identifies with the struggles of Black people because she has experienced slavery as a child in Nubia and racism and discrimination as an adult in America.

My main reason for creating the Isis character was because Little Black girls all over this country are growing up with no characters that look like them or have experiences they can identify with or relate to. There’s no Wonder Woman, Batgirl, Supergirl, Teela, Xena, or Buffy for little Black girls to imagine themselves as. There are no Disney Princesses that look like them, or any type of character they can imagine themselves being.

No, the women who look like little black girls today in the media are Halle Berry, Beoynce, Nicki Minaj, Precious, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, The Basketball Wives, and the numerous girls and women who lose face as they shake their butts twerking on YouTube. These whores are hardly what any decent mother or father would consider a role model for an adult, let alone a little Black girl.

I believe Black women deserve better than whores as role models for their children. They deserve a character who represents not only the beauty of the Black queens of the great ancient African civilizations, but honors the intelligence, courage, and grace of our great contemporary Black Ladies like Betty Shabazz, Coretta Scott King, and who has the passion for knowledge like our great Black female educators like Mary McLeod Bethune and Ida B. Wells.

When I created Isis I wanted to create a positive character for little Black girls to imagine themselves as. Someone with natural hair like theirs, and shared the same experiences little Black girls and Black women had in life. Someone who told their stories and had adventures they could relate to and identify with. Someone they could look at and say was a beautiful Black woman like they were.

I knew every little girl regardless of race wants to be a princess when they’re little, even little Black girls. And I wanted to give little Black girls someone who was a REAL princess from a REAL royal bloodline, not a fake one like Disney’s Tiana. Someone who could connect them with both their African-and African-American history and heritage. Someone who would show them that their Blackness is beautiful and that Africa was a place filled with great kingdoms like Egypt, and its sister nation Nubia. The Main reason why Isis is Nubian is because she comes from Egypt’s sister nation. As the daughter of a Nubian slave Mother and a New Heliopolitan Pharaoh, she’s still a princess…in the technical sense.

It disheartens me that some people want to take the stories I write and twist them to fit their personal, religious, and political agendas. I find it funny that the very same Christian people who would give me grief about the Isis series would let their kids read Harry Potter books or play with Monster High dolls. They’re fantasy based on pagan concepts as well. But no one looks that deeply into those series. (I’m a big Monster High fan and never miss a video. Torelai is where I got the inspiration for D’lilah.)

I’m a Christian who believes in Jesus, God, and the Holy Trinity. And I grew up reading comics about Mighty Norse gods, Amazonian Wonder Women, Dark Knights, Boy Wonders, Supermen, American Super-Soldiers, Amazing Human Spiders, Iron Men in flying armored suits and Hulking big green monsters and I never once thought it blasphemous. I knew none of the stuff in comic books was real. It was just an escape that helped make life in a rundown one-bedroom apartment with four other people in the South Bronx a little easier.

I just wanted to give a little Black girl that kind of escape from the misery of the ghetto with Isis. And maybe even inspire her to be something more than a baby mama or a Hood Rat. That’s what comic books did for me when I was four years old. Reading all those fantastic adventures with those colorful characters inspired me to see myself as something other than a junkie, a dope pusher a hustler or a thug criminal like many of the other young Black men in the community were back in the 1980s. That fantasy I read growing up made me see that there were other realities than the ghetto. And that I could be more than what people expected me to be, a retarded man collecting SSI payments and living in Section 8 housing.

If it weren’t for comic books I read in my brother’s collection over 30 years ago I wouldn’t be a writer today. And the reason why I write the Isis series is to give little Black girls the heroine that looks like them. The way I see it, if we had more characters like Isis in the media who present Black and African history and culture in a positive fashion then maybe more little Black girls wouldn’t choose the White doll when they go shopping or go out to sew an Asian woman’s dyed blonde hair in their head. If we had more characters like Isis little Black girls would be so proud of their own Blackness that they’d love their own natural hair and go out and pick up the Black doll up at the toy store.


  1. That's what movies are for entertainment an escape from reality....

  2. I think this is that kid again...
    A long time ago before there were movies, there were books. And Books were the only way people were able to entertain themselves and escape from reality.

    Y'know Books are where most movies actually come from. If you read more of them you'll broaden your imagination and see the world differently. How about you try one of mine?