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The new Spider-Man is black. Here's why it's a big deal.

The Marvel superhero roster just got more diverse.

The new Spider-Man is black. Here's why it's a big deal.

Marvel announced that a new Spider-Man is hitting the stands this fall.

This comes on the heels of a Sony email leak showing a contract that required Spider-Man to be — get this — white, male, and straight. Surprise!



This was actually my reaction. GIF from "Real Housewives of Orange County."

And the announcement about the new Spider-Man movie star and director? Spoiler alert: They're both white guys.

Even white dude Harry Potter is bored by the news. GIF via "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone."

Luckily, the new official Spider-Man in the Spider-Man comics is finally breaking the mold.

Meet Miles Morales, your new friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. Image by Marvel.

If he looks ... different ... from all the Spider-Mans (Spider-Men?) you've seen before, it's because he has an African-American father and a Puerto Rican mother.

He's the first black and second-ever Latino Spider-Man in the Marvel Comics universe.

What's especially great is that Miles isn't new to fans of the Spider-Man franchise, but the co-creators made an intentional move to make him official. He has been around for a while in an alternative Marvel universe where Peter Parker dies and he takes his place.

But now Miles Morales is the official main Marvel Comics universe Spider-Man.

Miles Morales in action. Image by Marvel.

This move is significant because it means bringing diversity to Marvel's main roster of superheroes in a big way.

In an interview with the New York Daily News, Spider-Man writer and co-creator Brian Michael Bendis explains the reasoning behind the decision saying, “Our message has to be it's not Spider-Man with an asterisk, it's the real Spider-Man for kids of color, for adults of color and everybody else."

And it's already having a positive impact.

Bendis was brought to tears when his 4-year-old black daughter picked up a Miles Morales Spider-Man mask at the store, put it on and exclaimed "Look, Daddy, I'm Spider-Man!"

YAS. I'm crying too. GIF from "Bob's Burgers."

It's important to have racial diversity in our superhero stories because studies show that representation matters.

One study found that children are quick to pick up on racial stereotypes portrayed in the media. Kids also notice when people of color are not shown as much as white people. They end up thinking that people of color must not be as important.

An Indiana University study showed that not having positive role models of color in the media lowered the self-esteem of black children.

Who our children see in the media and how these characters act has a big influence.

It doesn't just shape how they view people of other races; it influences how they view themselves. Imagine growing up and rarely seeing people who look like you on TV or in books, and when they do appear, they're doing bad things.

The fact that one of the most recognizable (good) characters in the world is multi-ethnic will help children of color feel good about themselves in a world that offers so few positive portrayals of people that look like them.

That's why this latest move by Marvel is so great.

We're officially living in a world that has a black Captain America, a female Thor, and a multi-ethnic Spider-Man.

How cool is that?

This cool. GIF from "Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man: Web-Warriors."

Here's hoping we'll see a live-action version of the new Spider-Man in the near future. My spidey senses tell me it'll only be a matter of time.

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When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

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Lauren-Ashley Howard/Twitter, Wikimedia Commons

The lengths people will go to discredit a political figure—especially a Black female politician—is pretty astounding. Since Kamala Harris was announced as Joe Biden's running mate, we've seen "birther" claims that she wasn't really born in the U.S. (she was), alternating claims that she's too moderate or too radical (which can't both be true), and a claim apparently designed to be a "gotcha"—that her ancestor in Jamaica was a slave owner.

According to Politifact, the claim that Harris descends from a slave owners is likely true. In their rather lengthy fact check on her lineage, which has not revealed any definitive answers, they conclude, "It seems possible that Kamala Harris is as likely a descendant of a slave-owner as she is an enslaved person." But that doesn't mean what the folks who are using that potential descencency as a weapon seem to think it means.

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When I found out I was pregnant in October 2018, I had planned to keep the news a secret from family for a little while — but my phone seemed to have other ideas.

Within just a few hours of finding out the news, I was being bombarded with ads for baby gear, baby clothes and diapers on Facebook, Instagram and pretty much any other site I visited — be it my phone or on my computer.

Good thing my family wasn't looking over my shoulder while I was on my phone or my secret would have been ruined.

I'm certainly not alone in feeling like online ads can read your mind.

When I started asking around, it seemed like everyone had their own similar story: Brian Kelleher told me that when he and his wife met, they started getting ads for wedding rings and bridal shops within just a few weeks. Tech blogger Snezhina Piskov told me that she started getting ads for pocket projectors after discussing them in Messenger with her colleagues. Meanwhile Lauren Foley, a writer, told me she started getting ads for Happy Socks after seeing one of their shops when she got off the bus one day.

When online advertising seems to know us this well, it begs the question: are our phones listening to us?

Keep Reading Show less
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UPDATE/EDITOR'S NOTE: This article was successfully removed from Facebook thanks in part to this article from Annie Reneau and also thanks to readers like you who took action and demanded accountability from Facebook. We're sharing it again as an example of how we can all be part of positive and constructive change on social media. Don't let the trolls win!

Original story begins below:

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As we say in the viral stories world, there's viral and then there's viral. A post with 100K shares in a month would be considered super viral. A post with a millions shares—even over a long period of time—is nearly unheard of.

So the fact that a post about Irish slaves has been shared nearly a million times in just nine days is incredibly disheartening. Why? Because it's fake, fake, fake. And not in an "I don't like what this says so I'm going to call it fake" kind of way, but in a non-factual, already-debunked-by-real-historians kind of way.

As someone with a crapton of Irish ancestry, I find the perpetuation of the Irish slaves myth utterly embarrassing—especially since it's most often shared in an attempt to downplay the history of Black slavery in the U.S. If it were true, that kind of deflection would still be annoying. But pushing false history narratives to deny the reality of the impact of institutionalized, race-based chattel slavery is just gross.

And to be sure, this is false history. To begin with, the photo isn't even of Irish people at all. It's a photo of Belgian miners crammed into a mining elevator around the year 1900.

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Sometimes a boycott succeeds when it fails.

Although the general aim of a boycott is to hurt profits, there are times when the symbolism of a boycott gives birth to a constant, overt and irreversible new optic for a company to nurse.

When the boycott of Facebook began in June and reached its peak in July, it gathered thousands of brands who vocalized their dissatisfaction with the platform.

The boycott, under the hashtag #StopHateForProfit, was launched by civil rights groups. By July brands were fully behind removing their ad spending - resulting in a small financial dent for the social media juggernaut, but a forceful bludgeoning in the press.


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