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Intro and Outro Music:
Track: ROY KNOX - Lost In Sound
Music Provided By: Magic Records
Listen To The Original: https://youtu.be/bafd5CsNk0M
Hello and welcome to Escape Reality Comics Podcast show. I'm your host, Chadlirious, unfortunately, Kevin is not going to be here today. But today I got something really special planned for you guys. The title of the day is going to be the true first black superhero. So on this episode, we're gonna be discussing an Orrin C. Evans and I know a lot of you out there are scratching your heads and who is this Orrin guy? So how I came across this whole subject is because of a commentor I had on my tic tock account @e.r.comics. That's our official podcast, tic tock account, right. So I was discussing a certain topic, and basically what I was discussing was about when Joss Wheadon, Well, Josh Joss Weadon was basically rewrote the whole Justice League script. Because when he got hired on, so I was talking about the fact that he rewrote the Justice League script. And what Josh Wheaton conveniently did, he was excluding the portion of the script that showed cyborgs parents as to African American geniuses, which is pretty rare, the big screen to depict, but instead of actually going to my normal route and telling this guy, he's a moron on the internet, I went a different route. So what route I went instead of talking about telling this guy off, and just leaving the discussion at that, I was basically thinking like, what if we actually go and actually talk about black achievements for comic books. I was thinking in a way that it was almost black history month. It was in January when I did my tic toc. And I was talking about Orrin C. Evans, and I found his story very interesting. So I thought I just elaborate more on the podcast. So I wanted to bring up the true first black superhero. Until recently, I wholeheartedly believe that the first true black superhero was the Black Panther. Then I came across an article talking about none other than the major part of our conversation, Orrin C. Evans. I learned how much had he had an impact or his comic books, as well as just how few people actually knew about him and his story. And even trying to find stuff on Orrin C. Evans. There's like three major links, I really find about them. And I was really shocked how this guy did a lot in his past, I thought, elaborate more on his story. But before we start, there will be a trigger warning, a major trigger warning, which I myself hate even to give, but in order to be authentic to the story, I will be saying the word negro. The word, although I'm not comfortable with is a portion of the title of the book that we'll be discussing today. With that said, let's get right into it. So the year was 1966, just about one year after the Black Panther civil rights movement began. It has gone down in comic history, the Stan Lee and Jack Kirby created the very first black superhero. This character was introduced when he was to show up to fight the fantastic four on issue number 52. The Black Panther, both creators, Stan Lee and Jack Kirby accredited to this very day for creating the very first black superhero. And it's pretty much common knowledge even I myself thought this whole time. I'm here today that historically that is incorrect. Now, I'm not here to attempt to take away Jack Kirby's and Stanley's achievements. Their goal at this point in time 1966, when they created the Black Panther, was to have black representation in the comic book world during the height of the Civil Rights Movement. With all that being said, let's talk about Orrin C. Evans in his difficult yet influential life. So Orrin C. Evans was born in 1902, in steelton, Pennsylvania, this was before the NAACP in any urban league even existed, or grew up in a very confusing and racist environment. And this is where it gets interesting. He was aware of how racist his environment was at a very young age, Evans father, George Evans, was a light skinned African American. On the other hand, his mother was a dark skinned African American woman. So therefore, his father would basically pass as white, George Evans Orrins father would actually take advantage of this to have to provide a better life for the family. Instead of the menial jobs that are available to the people of color at the time had to offer, he was able to live in a white neighborhood without any objection. And this is actually really rare because back here, back then, it was against the law for a white passing African American to pass as white. So if you got caught, he would have been in jail, or you've been thrown in jail, probably beaten. So just kind of think like this, how much danger? Georgia is really in this whole time? Here's the thing that just wowed me. Unfortunately, this was not the case for orans mother. orans mother was a dark skinned African American woman. She had to introduce herself as the maid. So if George had any A guest to come in from work or any work friends or anything like that come to his place to visit, the wife would take Oren to the back room to hide him. And she would put on an apron and introduce yourself as the maid. So Oren, unfortunately was not white passing. And this This made orange life just more difficult. Even George's, if orange had to go to his father's work or anything like that he could not acknowledge orange existence at all. So this is this, his childhood was pretty tough, but he like recognized how racist he the whole neighborhood was because they live in white town. Every time they had white friends over or white white people over the the wife had a pawn on apron and say, I'm the maid. And Oren had to go hide in the back in the backroom. But with all this happening in orange life, he was also a strong headed young man, very bright. He had a dream of becoming a writer. So he dropped out of eighth grade to pursue that dream. And at the age of 17, Orne got his first job at Sportsman magazine. He got then he followed up with another job at the Philadelphia Tribune, which is I just gotta say, this is on record, the oldest black newspaper in the US. So he got job there. From there in the 1930s, he landed a writing position and the Philadelphia record, Orion was the first African American to cover general assignments while working for the record. That was a big deal back then. So let's paint the picture. Oren is a African American who is a journalist, he's a writer at a very young age. This was very dangerous for an African American for his position, and his skin color. So orange gotten controversy. And when he was working for the record in 1944, he wrote a whole series of articles about troops being targeted in the military. He even received an honorable mention in that yours, Hayward hail Braun Award, which this is pretty cool. Later on in 1948. This would eventually help in segregation the military. Just want to put out there I thought that was really interesting. But you know, it's coming back at the time come going back at the time, or and had received death threats, because How dare a black man criticize the military and to say in a democracy, all men are equal? Well, some, some people found this really treasonous. Every time you got a death rate, you actually didn't take it seriously. orans daughter hope, remembers that their family was guarded by family and friends for 24 hours until the threats have stopped or subsided, one of the two, that wouldn't be the first time that orange skin color in position would trigger the racist. There was an incident at the Philadelphia police precinct at 55 in Pine, where a police sergeant pulled his revolver and ordered or out of the station. didn't believe that a black man who was a journalist didn't bleed horn was a journalist whatsoever, by the way, but he didn't believe a black man had any legitimate reason to be at the station. Unless there's behind bars. Then, and here's here's a big one right here. This is how racist it was back then. There was a national hero in Nazi sympathizer. I say I'm sorry, but national hero and Nazi sympathizer should not be together whatsoever. But hey, back in the day, it was Charles Lindbergh. If you don't know who Charles Lindbergh is, he was famous for flying nonstop across the Atlantic Ocean. He held up a press conference to address hit the kidnapping of his own young son. His son got kidnapped. And Oren was the only black man there at the press conference. Orn got kicked out of the press conference because simply because he was black, Charles Lindbergh, who was a giant racist didn't feel comfortable about talking about his kidnapped son in front of a black man. How ridiculous is that? But for anybody in our securities about Charles Lindbergh son, if guys don't know already, he was dead. He was found dead. Unfortunately, the cause of death was a blunt force trauma to the head. Okay, well now going back to Oren. Unfortunately, after World War Two, the record got hit by workman's strike and management decided to instead shut down the newspaper instead of dealing with labor issues. They just shut it down. So at this point, Orrin was literally jobless and wondering what to do. But he did enjoy comics and he would often read comics to his daughter hope. He also enjoyed civil rights cartoons by his friend Jerry Doyle, or enjoy that you could actually address major and complicated issues through cartoons political cartoons. To make them simple and clear for people, he wondered if he could actually reach a wider audience for comic books as well as as with his writing. He was tired of the lack of black heroes as well as the fact that most media would portray black characters as illiterate, violent and lazy. So, he partnered with his former record editor hair T Sawyer, his sports editor Bill Driscoll and two others define the Philadelphia publishing company own negros comics Inc. as out with Orrin Evans as the president. With a cover date of June 1947, all Negro comics was born with a 48 page standardized comic with a with a typical glossy color cover with a newsprint interior and listen for 15 cents a copy, which was rare back in the day, because back then usually listen for 10 cents a copy, which made all Negro comics in the first all black publishing company and comic book, the first, but I wish I could sit here and tell you that how many copies were printed? And how much on Negro comics gross, but unfortunately, that was all gone. That's all lost to history. But one historian has to say, well, there were a few heroic images of black created by blacks, such as Jive gray comic strip, and all Negro comics. These images did not circulate outside of the pre civil rights segregated black communities. Unfortunately, within all Negro comics, we had stories like Ace Harlem, little do Dilys Ezekiel manhunt, have chicks on parade, little Eggy, SugarFoot lion man and Baba. This is one of the first comics that actually addressed an African American going to college. He was sent by the United Nations to the Gold Coast of Africa to watch the dreaded Magic Mountain. Why because the Magic Mountain had uranium posits deposits in the mountain itself. Kind of sounds familiar, don't it? African American golden coast a mountain just take away uranium and add Vibranium Hmm. Anyways, I thought it was just kind of weird. But and the con book lineman actually adopts this line man adopts Bubba and I and I guess he's like his partner or whatever. And it literally show them this chemistry that showed that a black man is fighting a white man and actually winning so this you can imagine how pissed off the white people were at this point in time. I mean, white people suck I'm sorry, but in the history white people suck. Alright, going back. Oh TV. I just couldn't believe it. So anyways, after after shows line man beaten up a whole bunch of white people because they wanted uranium deposits and Magic Mountain Can you can kind of imagine how pissed off the white people were. So there was a second issue actually planned and ready to be printed out. He had the artwork done. He had the writing done, he was ready to go. But unfortunately, Orn could not find vendors to sell him newsprint. So this is what the family Evans family thinks what happens. So they actually believe that there was a pressure on vendors to stop selling wholesale newsprint to Orn by bigger disc publishers and distributors who didn't welcome the newest competition, the new competition. And the second issue of all Negro comics were net was never published. So unfortunately, that was it for Orrin income books. But he did go back to work for a newspaper where he would become the director of Philadelphia Associated Press, and an officer of the newspaper guild of Greater Philadelphia. In 1966, Oren was awarded the inner Urban League of Pennsylvania Achievement Award and in 1971, before his death, he was honored at the annual N double A CP convention in Minneapolis. And a scholarship was actually created in His Name Orrin Evans will be forever known as the father of black comic books. He paved the way and this is why his story is important. After Orn there was a big vacuum for black comic books for black characters to be represented in a way that it's actually normal. After that, when they even fostered even came out with Negro romance, it only lasted three issues. But because of Orn that was actually there was actually black comm books and black representation com books. Any of you are out there interested in looking at his comic book, I actually have a firstname.lastname@example.org comics.com for slash blog. And with that said, I hope you guys Have a nice normal day to the cup of coffee in the morning to the nice glass of Marlo at night