Lyric Theatre exhibit highlights superheroes of color

Lyric Theatre exhibit highlights superheroes of color
Published: Feb. 3, 2023 at 5:23 PM EST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - Lexington’s Lyric Theatre is celebrating Black History Month through an exhibit featuring African American comic book superheroes.

Noted poet and author Frank X. Walker owns the display that puts an emphasis on women of color as superheroes.

“I wanted to put the collection together that showcased not how ordinary it is but how long and how broad characters of color have been featured in pop culture in comics and action figures,” said Walker.

There are lots of superheroes there you might not know. Some are mixed in with real people like Muhammad Ali versus Superman.

“Put him side by side with Superman. I think that’s the highest honor that a comics enterprise can offer to a human,” said Walker.

Walker’s favorite comic book is Black Panther.

“I always bought two Black Panthers, and one stays in mint condition,” Walker said.

The collection contains a number of female heroes as well.

“You can see a broad representation and with an emphasis on women. Which is even harder to find in the broader culture,” said Walker. “My favorite superhero was my mother, who passed on, but she had superhuman powers and her superpower was love.”

Walker says seeing an image that reflects you can inspire.

“I never dreamed there would be a Black Spider-Man when I was a kid,” Grimes said.

Acting director of the Lyric Theater, Christian Adair, says his daughter saw one of the characters and immediately connected.

“She’s like, ‘wow, dad, who is this person? Where does this come from? Her hair is just like mine,’” Adair said. “And so she identified right away, and her word was, ‘wow, dad, who is this?’”

Images of real-life heroes sit next to the fictional ones.

“Seeing those images and seeing those images reflect back at them, hopefully, fills them up with some kind of pride,” said Adair.

You can catch the exhibit at the Lyric Theatre Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. until the end of the month.

We asked Walker, the famed poet, what his superpower is. He says it can be found in his pen.