Published on Friday May 20th, 2016 by Afrocks
Let’s Big Up Ourselves With The Caribbean Justice Alliance!
Psssit, guess what is happening in Dominica right now… a revolution in modern storytelling, an assertion of a Caribbean radical subjectivity… We are getting our own superheroes oui. If you are into comics and animes, you are in for a treat with The Caribbean Justice Alliance project. What we like about this work is first of all the relatability of the characters. They are Caribbean and they rock natural hair in all shapes, styles and shades, just like you would find in the streets of Port of Spain, Bridgetown or Basseterre. Secondly, teenagers are fighting along with adults. This intergenerational cooperation makes it dynamic and progressive. We do not know exactly who the enemy is, but we can speculate that a team of proud black superheroes fighting along their youths is there to dismantle something big… like Babylon (Irie). We have to speculate because the creative team: Albert Pierre, Sean Francis and Daniel Pond, is keeping a tight seal on the story line. However they gave us indications on the characters, their powers and relationships and it sounds awesome! (they are such a tease). Here is what we gathered!
Similarly to most series with a plethora of characters — X Men, Naruto or Fairy Tale– there is a leader, in our case Lieutenant Yurumei from St Vincent, who dispatches the missions according to the hero’s power. The characters are indeed numerous and diverse with clear personality traits which presuppose great storylines!
For instance Yurumei, the OG, is a no-nonsensical person, managing the alliance like a typical Caribbean mother would do:
“ A master in telekinesis, Yurumei can move objects with her mind and has 360 degree vision”… Basically no sneak attacks made against her shall prosper. We love the faux hawk with the braids on the one side and her thick hair on the other. We are one step further, we think, from Storm. (we love her though).
BB from Bahamas
BB from the Bahamas is a bubbly and carefree teenager who does not care too much about conventions around food or in battle:” After training at Caribbean Justice Head Quarters for some time BB realized that she could actually see sound vibrations and travel right through them. She can transport herself to any location as long as she can hear sound coming from there. To the naked eye it looks like teleportation but it’s actually a de-materialization and re-materialization of molecules across sound waves. Bahamia loves dancing to goatskin drum of Junkanoo. She often incorporates her dance moves into fighting techniques”. We love her blue Afro puffs.
Jamaica X is a fearless fighter who we thinks is one of the “baddest”: “Possibly the most perceptive member of the Caribbean Justice Alliance; he is usually the first to sense when something is wrong. As with all Weapons Classes X knows a variety of fighting skills with different types of weapons. However his main weapon is a huge sword he calls the “Black Blade.” The Black Blade is a shape-shifting sword has a minimum weight of 75lbs yet he manoeuvres it like a feather. The Black Blade can manipulate elements like fire, water, air and earth. Even sound can controlled by the blade. It also has a de-materializing feature which can literally erase objects.” We love the blades and the locs. He is hot!
Team Natural Hair
Clearly inspired by the manga aesthetic, they have regular, fight and even chibi forms. we love the hair. Voluminous, flamboyant, natural, these heroes are unapologetically proud of their African features. May it be Nadia’s short green hair or Roxsan’s insanely thick mane one can tell that the creator made a point to showcase powerful, incredibly intelligent and learned women and men of African descent embracing themselves.
Albert Pierre, the creator, explains:
‘Unless you’ve been living under a rock or just detached from what’s going on you would have noticed there is a huge exodus of Afro-Caribbean women returning to their natural hair. For me it is fascinating to draw Afro girls. There are so many creative options. You know the dominant culture did a mighty job in schooling us on the idea that relaxed hair is the ultimate ideal; that kinks and curls were somehow unprofessional or ghetto. But I love this movement and what it’s doing. Now I want to shed a little light on these sorts of people. Those who go about shaming black women who have relaxed hair. Every woman has their choice as to how they wear their hair and we should learn to respect people’s individuality. Sometimes our three relaxed girls (VI Girl, Kneva and Nadia) come under fire. But we present the Super Heroines as individuals first and then island reps. They have personalities too. When you say things like “But women on this island don’t look like that.” You are correct. Why? Because these girls are unique individuals with their own preferences just like any Caribbean Woman in real life. That’s why reading their back stories is important. All in all most of our black girls are naturalistas and that’s going to stay. We are right on board with the Natural Hair movement. But no matter how you wear your hair, we love you just the same.’
This is heartening news! We are getting quality representations in quality stories. This is what happens when we becomes subject and not merely object of our narratives and businesses. We cannot wait to read it. In the meantime, let your edges flourish and take good care of yourself!