That Time Lois Lane Became a Black Woman

That Time Lois Lane Became a Black Woman

Superman


During the 70s’ comic books were used to express the opinions of many frustrated writers. Whether it was taking on civil rights, discussions on war or a flat out stand against racism, the comic book industry had a lot to communicate to fans. And so Lois Lane #106 (I Am Curious (Black)! was born. Published in November of 1970, the comic sees Lois Lane stepping into a body moulder that turns her into a black woman! The 36 page issue sold for 15 cents. What ensues are questions about race: Would Superman marry Lois Lane if she were black? Why do people treat Lois differently as a black woman? Can white and black people get along despite their differences in skin colour?

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As the story goes, Lois attempts to speak to people on the black side of town, but no one will speak to her because she’s white. She is dodged by everyone — schoolchildren, teens, mothers, and even a blind elderly woman who detects Lois’s “whiteness” when she goes to explain her project. They even call her Whitey. She decides to become black because it would allow her to report on the black community (because they would trust her more). Superman, being the nice guy that he is, puts her in a machine which transforms her into a black woman for 24 hours. Everything goes according to plan until Lois learns a harsh truth; people are treating her different because of her skin complexion. Dressed in an Afrocentric outfit, she heads off to interview the people of Little Africa (Metropolis’s African-American community aka the ghetto slums).

The synopsis: To get a story about life in Little Africa, a black ghetto in Metropolis, Lois Lane has Superman use a transformation machine designed by Dahr-Nel to turn her into a black woman. During her stay there, she meets neighborhood activist Dave Stevens, and helps save his life with a transfusion of her own blood after he is shot by drug dealers. When he awakens, and sees she has become a white woman again, he accepts her sacrifice nonetheless with gratitude.

In the end Superman delivers a socially-relevant message – we are all the same, regardless of our skin colour.

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