Yes, black superheroes can improve race relations in the United States because kids will want to go out and buy black superhero toys. Once people see minorities as superheroes, they will start to think of them differently. It is all a matter of perception. This would be great for a TV show.
The image of a black superhero is a positive role model for children, showing strength and justice. It is helpful to have some ethic diversity in all the Hollywood roles so that young people don't fall into stereotypes. It also helps to improve the reality of education, schools and community life to benefit black children as well.
There has been a noticeable lack of black superheroes in mainstream media. By rectifying this situation, it will provide a much-needed ethnic diversity in this realm of media. In addition, it will provide black youths a hero in which they can see themselves, and inspire them in a positive manner. There would be no drawback to having a black superhero in the next major motion picture.
Yes, black superheroes can improve race relations in the United States. Simply because, this superheroes have a say in the society. Therefore they can be "voice to the voiceless." Racism has been a major issue and if someone could try can make things right by bridging this gap, then it is the black superheroes.
Don't get me wrong - I fully support more black superheroes and more diversity in the media in general. That being said, racial minorities' distrust of the (mostly white) police force, xenophobia towards Syrian refugees and Mexicans, and the disproportionate number of black and latino men in prisons are complex issues that need multiple solutions. Positive media representation of all races can certainly help reduce the prevalence of stereotypes and hatred, but it isn't that simple. More needs to be done, and real change must happen, before race relations can improve.
Martin Luther King Jr. Said that 'Star Trek' was the only show he allowed his kids to stay up past bedtime and watched, and he praised the show as a step in the right direction for racial equality in the US. Actress Nichelle Nichols played the role of Lieutenant Uhura, one of the first times a black woman was cast in a popular tv show.
The premise of Star Trek, since its first appearance on television to its upcoming "Beyond", is that the crew of a starship is a team. Every member on the ship plays a vital role in survival and carrying on a successful voyage. Star Trek casts crewmates as equals; no matter their skin color, religion, background, race, or whatever else. The problem with a superhero ideology is that a superhero is ABOVE equal; he/she is bestowed powers that grant the ability to influence the world on a macro scale. The superhero is usually values individualism as opposed to collective identity, and we can see that the problem in the US when it comes to race relations is the whole mentality of "Us vs. Them".
Yeah, most superheroes are of a particular race, but profit-motivated companies can't be blamed for sticking to tradition. Just like the media can't be blamed for having a profit motive in covering 'shocking' news that exacerbate racial relations. Of course we can point fingers at a profit motive, but only on a moral standpoint.
Star Trek made a difference over the long term; it added a perspective that aided the vision of King's civil rights movement. Do we want the modern vision to be of unequal protagonists compared to the common man when the whole goal is to promote equality?
Black superheroes would only improve race relations in the United States as a counter-ideology to white dominated superhero statuses. But this would only be short term, and possibly been seen as an aggressive move. Superheros are superior, which is why they are interesting, powers aside.
Star Trek is continuing to improve relations between conflicting groups in society, particularly regarding sexual orientation in "Beyond". The gay character cast in the film is an equal; not a superior or an inferior.
In contrast, a black superhero figure does not represent equality. And truthfully, a TV show starring a black superhero won't be significant enough to make a tangible impact in the US. Star Trek has a lasting power that gives it influence, but brand new tv shows and brand new characters centered on a counter ideological will only dilute ideas needed for advancement in society.
Art is an expression of our society; you can have the structural functionalist expression of Star Trek, of the conflict perspective of superheroes. If either is to make a difference in the long run, it needs to be based on equality to achieve the means of equality.
While I agree that cinematic superheroes could use a little more diversity, I don't think that having more black or minority heroes will really fix anything on a national level. Our current situations seems to have a lot more to do with animosity between races themselves than misrepresented minorities in media.