Does it matter that little Tony is black?

Use this forum to discuss the July 2018 Book of the Month "Toni the Superhero" by R.D. Base
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Re: Does it matter that little Tony is black?

Post by Book Lover 35 »

No. All kids can be superheroes regardless of race.

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Post by Rosebella »

I think the book carries the message of interracial tolerance. It is a good thing for children to understand that any person of any race can be a superhero. They also do normal stuff that average people do everyday.
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Post by Sakeenaahmad »

I’m so sad that we even have to mention his colour or race.

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Post by writer808 »

Wow, what a nice point you raised and now that i think of it, i come to realize that such tiny things can provoke such huge messages.

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Post by debbielouise »

I think it's great that Toni is a black child. There is definitely more need for books with black children represented. It's great that he is an ordinary kid, but with the potential to be a super hero. It don't think kids reading the book would think he doesn't have enough super powers.

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Post by Bavithra M »

No it doesn't matter that little Tonyis black. Let's not bring in racism in children's story book

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Post by Debjani Ghosh »

cristinaro wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 05:33
Tony is a jovial little black kid always with a broad smile on his face. He is engaged in the typical activities of a kid his age.

Is he meant to defy the superhero stereotype especially since he does not seem to be doing anything extraordinary?
Did you feel the book undermines the myth of the white superhero and carries a message of inter-racial tolerance?

My fear is the message could be exactly the opposite. Little black kids can only do ordinary things like helping their mother, sweeping the floor or dusting the furniture. The superpowers still belong to the little white kids. I am wondering if Tony will actually have some superpowers in the next books of the series. What do you think?
Judging by the reviews of this book and the various comments, I don't think that "Little black kids can only do ordinary things" was noticed by anyone, including myself. I think the author wanted to convey the message that superheroes are just like ordinary persons who have to do the daily chores to maintain order and discipline in their lives. Maybe we adults are trying to read too much between the lines. :techie-studyingbrown:

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Post by Ayat paarsa »

Your pot made me remind an American animated movie "Ratatouille" in which a rat was a master chef. Tony was not black at all, reflection of inner whiteness glowed his face, doing little chores and having skills made him superhero, so can become each child and so was the author's message.
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Post by Nusrat_Shabnam_ »

No, it doesn't matter that Tony is black. The children would get a idea against racism through this book.

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Post by Arup343 »

Of course not! What difference would it have made if Toni had been white? First of all, being black is not his fault at all. I really respect the author for this! This superstition is constantly growing in our world that super-powers can only be only possessed by the white people. I don't see it that way! Tony is a little boy with a broad smile on this face and with the same emotions as other kids!

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Post by Mr Benji »

To me, the issue is not whether Toni is black or white. He is a model to white, black kids,and kids of other races.

A question of note is: Are the kids all over the world simply divided into black and white races? If that is the case, what about the Latinos,the Hispanics, the Chinese, and other races.

The struggle between races is just an imaginary war in the minds of some individuals and sometimes we seem to promote it unknowingly.

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Post by VernaVi »

I don't think race is an issue here. In the information that the author posted on the page you read before accepting the opportunity to review this book, the author, R.D. Base writes about Toni's superpowers in this book: "Please note that this book is not for older kids. It is specifically targeted to early readers. For young kids, the typical depiction of a superhero is a character that fights crime and Toni does that too, but not in this introductory book."
It is basically explaining that there is a reason that there are no superpowers showcased in this book but Toni does have them, and that will be evident in later books. I don't believe that R.D. Base was trying to insult Toni's racial background at all by keeping the introductory book simple for new beginning readers. Great questions and discussion!

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Post by Leyla Ann »

It shouldn't matter. In fact I didn't take notice of that until I stumbled upon this thread lol.
A little less than imaginary~

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