BLACK [AF]: America’s Sweetheart Review

BLACK [AF]: America’s Sweetheart

Author: Kwanza Osajyefo
Designer: Tim Smith 3
Cover Artist: Sho Murase
Interior Artist: Jennifer Johnson
Letterer: David Sharpe

Usually when I read a graphic novel, I break it up into chunks and spread my reading out throughout the day.  When I started reading Black AF America’s Sweetheart, I just couldn’t stop reading it.  I read it from start to finish in one sitting and once I finished reading it, I just wanted the story to continue.  It’s only 84 pages in length, a little shorter than your usual graphic novel, but it tells the story it needs to tell within these 84 pages.  Within these pages there is vibrant and gripping story, stunning and radiant art, and extraordinary character named Eli.

Black AF America’s Sweetheart is an impressive story.  It’s about a 15 year old girl named Eli who has superpowers but her parents tell her to keep them a secret. Once everyone finds out that only black people have superpowers, Eli becomes this superhero called Good Girl. Eli wants nothing more than protect the people of the world and uphold the values she was raised with, but everything may not be as black and white as it seems.  It’s when she encounter a terrorism group that everything she’s fighting for starts to be questioned.  Do people really trust her?  Why do people fear her?  Is she fighting for the right things?  These questions and more really start to make Eli think when someone just as powerful as her makes her examine her choices.

The art in this book absolutely superb.  This was my first time seeing anything drawn by Jennifer Johnson and I am making it my goal to find more of her artwork.  The layouts were easy to follow, the colors used were excellent, and her style was perfect for this book.  Her expressions were spot on and her actions sequences were fantastic. I look forward to seeing more of her work in the future, and hope to see more of it in Black.

I am delighted that a book like this is being made.  I’m a bi-racial man, Black and Mexican to be exact, I’m from the south side of Chicago, so I’m excited to see people like me in a story.  I know there are detractors that believe representation doesn’t matter, but it most certainly does matter.  The story being told relates to a lot of things going on in the world today and some things that have occurred in the dark past of the United States.  I have been a fan of Black since it began as a Kickstarter project and reading Black AF America’s Sweetheart has only made me a bigger fan.  This book deserves plenty of attention, deserves to be read by all, and hope word gets out about this amazing book. Oh, I almost forgot, this book is only $9.99, so pick it up at this awesome price.

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