I came across an amazing Ted Talk by G. Willow Wilson (author of Ms. Marvel) and decided that I simply had to share it with my students. I created a powerpoint showing some panels from the first issue of Ms. Marvel and asked my students to analyze them. I asked – are the experiences of Kamala Khan atypical as a Pakistani/Islamic Jersey 16 year old, or do you share similar experience? Turns out – we could all relate to being the outsider, the minority, the person with the “weird” family traditions, with having strict parents, etc. For a short presentation, it really turned into a powerful conversation with my students.
I love that Wilson’s message was to my students – that she has hope for their generation and their inclusiveness. I have been teaching for 15 years and I share her opinion – the things we talk about in class today never would have happened when I was in high school (early 1990s). Yet, my students don’t really bat an eye when someone is gay, Muslim, lifeskills, etc — it is so great to see.
My final question to them was – are the diversity changes in American comics simply political correctness, or a mirror of a more inclusive audience?
Here is the powerpoint that includes the images and a link to Wilson’s Ted Talk –
Here is just the Ted Talk –
Here is an awesome reading to go along with it –