Tag Archives: African American Culture

Icon #8

Independent filmmaker John Sayles released Brother From Another Planet back in 1984.  The movie tells the story of a visitor from outer space played by the great actor Joe Morton, who looks like a black man. He arrives on Earth in a spaceship that looks like it is something from the 1950s sci-fi stories by Robert Heinlein, Frederik Pohl, or Arthur C. Clarke. It is not a great movie but Sayles examines how a black man can appear out of step with the culture of it’s time. I will admit that as someone who has not fit into the box that contemporary American culture has prescribed for people who look like me that I can identify with Sayles movie.

Icon falls into that same category and I found out that it was a favorite read of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas raised my eyebrows. However, I have learned over the years that human beings have deeper layers than the political, cultural, or religious ideology they get labeled as such.

This issue is where Icon shares his full background with Rocket. She is surprised to find out that he lived during Reconstruction and fought for the Northern states during the civil war, helped slaves escaped to Canada with the Underground Railroad, graduated from a black college at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee, married his wife during the height of the Harlem Renaissance, and fought with the Allies against Nazi Germany during World War II.

Rocket learns that Icon is truly alien and coming to Earth as a black man was not his choice.  However, he has embraced it and made the best of the situation. I wrote previously that issue 7 was my favorite so far in my re-read of this series. I have to correct myself and write that issue 8 is my favorite. Icon has more depth to him that being labeled as a black conservative who has sold out his people.  It is reminder to not judge people by what they present to the public but find out more about them and don’t discard anyone immediately.

Icon #2

The Mayor of Dakota, Thomasina Jefferson, is being held hostage at city hall.  The police commissioner calls in S.H.R.E.D, the city’s most elite police unit.  They hold Icon and Rocket at gunpoint. Icon wants to comply with the police officers and Rocket reminds him of his social status despite being able to defeat the entire… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 75: Invisible Men by Ken Quattro

Black History Month is in full swing and I have seen many social media posts recognizing the achievements of African Americans throughout the nation’s history.  However, I have always wanted to find out something that does not get much recognition or overlooked during this annual celebration in February. Invisible Men: The Trailblazing Black Artists of… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 74: Playing in the Dark by Toni Morrison

I still consider realistic fiction the standard for American Literature.  However, imaginative fiction has made significant strides in the past two decades to create its own place in American Literature. As one who prefers imaginative fiction over realistic fiction, this is a much-needed development for the survival of literature as an art form. As a… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 73: The Dark Fantastic by Ebony Elizabeth Thomas

“The principles of the dark fantastic are so ingrained in our collective consciousness that when the expected pattern is subverted, most audiences cannot suspend disbelief. Readers and viewers complain that dark heroic protagonists are not likable. Critics observe that the characters, settings, circumstances, and resolutions are unbelievable. Agents regret that they just cannot connect with… Continue Reading