It’s high time we talk about three of the latest, coolest black characters in modern and young adult fiction! I’ve searched high and low for the most talented, well-developed, and awesome book characters that we have come to love. Of course this isn’t a complete list, by any means! These are just some of the many dope African-American characters that have recently captured my heart and will continue to do so!
Starr from The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
When Starr witnesses a police shooting, she has to find her voice and make choices that no child should have to make. On top of this, she’s still a young girl who wants to fall in love, go to prom, and make lifelong friends. I loved this book because while on the one hand, we got to see a really cool black female protagonist start to learn about the world and what she will face, but we also got to see her be vulnerable, fragile, and in need of love and guidance. Starr was strong, but she was also almost shy and timid in some ways. I saw so much of myself in her! When I was her age, I wanted so badly to “do the right thing” but that thing wasn’t always clear. It was really cool to see such a conflicted black female character come into her own. She’s fire and I will always love her.
Camila from The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton
Camila is all beauty, claws, and magic. One second, she will create a masterpiece beyond anything you can imagine, in the next, she’s overthrowing an empire and fighting with everything she’s got just to save her sisters. Camila is loyal, sometimes irrational, and beyond brave. She does what she believes is right and that’s a lesson we all need to follow! She was one of the most inspiring and awesome female characters I have ever seen. Believe me, no one is more bummed that the Belles series has ended besides me! BUT you can still read the second and final book, which came out early this year.
Thunder from Black Lightning by Judd Winick
Many of us know “Thunder” by the name Anissa Pierce, a DC character who is now starring in the hit TV show Black Lightning. Thunder is the daughter of beloved but retired superhero Black Lightning, which airs on the CW. What many of us don’t know is that her father, Black Lightning, is an ulterior version of Static Shock–a young black male superhero who can control lightning. Anissa’s character is awesome for SO MANY REASONS. First, she’s the first lesbian superhero on TV! Second, she’s the first black female superhero on TV, and finally, she’s just the best. Not only is she skilled in combat and her powers, but she also never gives up, will protect her family at all cost, and is super smart. Many don’t realize that Anissa used to be a doctor and has an incredible mind.
So those are three black young characters that I love! Do you agree with me? Who are your favorite young black heroes?
By Jesse E
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