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 Tiny_Turtle »

PeaceLoveNature44 wrote:
28 Aug 2018, 05:09
Tiny_Turtle wrote:
27 Aug 2018, 13:57
Bianka Walter wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 11:31

I totally agree. And you're right, it would be interesting to see how many kids commented on Toni's colour - if any :)
Really interesting question though!
It would be interesting to see if the child noticed Toni's skin color. An easy way to find out would be to have the child either verbally describe Toni, or draw a picture, after reading the book with them. Just let them know to be specific about colors, naming a few items like the cape and hair color.
If you have them do that, there is no doubt that they would say he is black. That's just how kids work sometimes, they see the color, but it dose not matter to them until an adult points something out about it or says something bad/positive and then the kid will start to view that way. In my opinion, and from what I have seen with my own kids and others.
I was thinking that they might not even remember, if they didn't notice to begin with and if they're not looking at the picture when you ask the question. Maybe making a remembering game out of it? You show them a picture, put it away, and then have them fill in the colors on a blank copy, not focusing on only the skin color, but all the colors. If a 96 color box of crayons were available, it might be interesting to see how many children would color the skin close to their own skin color.

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Post by 1ditzyrn »

Bianka Walter wrote:
01 Jul 2018, 10:30
The fact that Toni is black didn't even register on my radar until this thread. So I obviously felt none of the above.
And I don't think it will for kids either. They just see another kid, it's us adults that notice the colour :)
I agree with this. Children rarely notice color until they reach an age where they notice the adults who put an emphasis on this. If we could teach the adults not to pass this behavior on to the children, the world would be a better place.

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Post by Lia4rmHtown »

I believe that it doesn’t matter the color of Toni’s skin. I was quite surprised to read the question. Even more surprised to see how everyone is thinking.

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Post by Sdejardine »

I agree that superheroes seem to be depicted usually as white. I do not think that writing a book about a black superhero, no matter how insignificant his powers, is a bad thing. It shouldn't matter one way or the other. And, I think any little black boy reading this book would be excited to identify as a superhero.

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Post by Vlinstry »

The colour of his skin isn't something that really crossed my mind to be honest. And with m9vies like "Black Panther" it is no longer that uncommoj for superheroes to be coloured

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Post by abbiejoice »

I think this shouldn't undermine the message of equality. I am reminded of the movie Black Panther. While the hero is black, I think it doesn't necessarily aim to express that black heroes are exceptions to the rule.

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Post by Italiansweety1982 »

I don't think color matters. They could have made him blue with polka dots and he still would have been a kid. It's good to show that no matter who you are, everyone pitches in

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Post by ObsessedBookNerd »

I think it’s a good thing that he is black it’s always white kids in children’s books so I think it helps with diversity because nobody is ever one thing. Especially in America people are usually a mixed of different ethnicities, so it’s nice that the book isn’t the same cookie cutter story.

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Post by Power Onyango »

I see nothing wrong with Toni's colour. Over focus on his skin pigmentation suffices to be racism.

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Post by HailKingEbi »

I dont think Toni's race contributed to the story. It's a helpful kid with superpowers. There are black heroes across Marvel and DC comics alike. Most are true representations of strength. Sometimes there's stereotypes little by little but there's no need to deny that some attributes are peculiar to certain people. A black child being helpful or not, he could have been white. I don't think the author intended anything by Toni's race.
We're all puppets, Laurie. I'm just a puppet who can see the strings - Doctor Manhattan.

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Post by BriennaiJ »

I didn't think of the story this way, but instead thought of it as an adorable childhood book of a kid acknowledging the small things they do to help others and realizing that those can be their superpowers. I think the fact that Tony is black could just help kids who are learning to read see cute stories about kids their own age who look like them.

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Post by Braunsucre »

Well, I really don't think the color matter, Toni fulfilled his role wonderfully as a superhero.

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Post by Sumbule1 »

The fact that Tony is black Does quarantee that he should be underrated.

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Post by aribear »

I hadn't noticed until I saw the question. But I think it's a good thing that he is black. It is a source of representation.

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Post by zelennaa3 »

I think it’s amazing that he is. I love that blacks are being recognized. :mrgreen2:

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