Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lois Lane & Race

Over at Parabasis, blogger Anne Moore was visiting home and took in It's A Bird, It's A Plane...It's Superman... at the Dallas Theater Center. It is a reworking of the 1966 musical, and it features the contributions of playwright Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (Good Boys and True.)

Here's Moore:

But I was struck by the blasé radicalism of casting a black actor, Zakiya Young, as Lois Lane, not least because Dallas is where I first really understood racism as a real thing, witnessing the makeup of extended family Christmas parties where the only brown faces were the maids and bartenders.

At this performance, though, it was a different story. Not only is Lois the romantic lead, but she’s the object of desire for both male leads, both of whom are white. Furthermore, the main revision of the play was to place the (now-interracial) relationship between Lois and Clark at the heart of the story. The awesomeness of the Lois Lane casting decision was clearest to me at two moments in the play: when the Lex Luthor character (inexplicably named Max Mencken) sings her a song called “The Woman for the Man,” where he lists all the reasons Lois would make a perfect partner for a rich and powerful man like himself—she’s smart and beautiful, everyone wants her. And then there’s the final clinch between Superman and Lois, as they’re flying above the city

Moore's observation reminded me of something, this isn't the first time Lois has experienced life as a black woman:

(Top Photo by Brandon Thibodeaux.)


Ian Thal said...

Interestingly enough, I just chanced upon the full transcript of the infamous "I Am Curious (Black)" just the other day.

I'm not sure whether to to say "enjoy!" or "cringe!"

Ian Thal said...

A more recent example of Superman crossing the racial line: