On Saturday 2nd February 2014, I visited the V&A Museum of Childhood with friends and family to see the Afro Supa Hero exhibition which ran from 14 September 2013 – 9 February 2014.
Afro Supa Hero is a snapshot of a childhood and journey to adulthood, shown through a personal collection of pop cultural heroes and heroines of the African diaspora. Jon Daniel’s action figures, comic books and games offer an insight into the experience of a boy of African Caribbean heritage growing up in 1960s and 1970s Britain, in search of his identity.
Born in East Sheen in southwest London and as the child of Caribbean parents, Jon Daniel found his positive Black role models in the West Indian culture of his family and the African-American culture of the US. In his late twenties, Jon began collecting primarily 1970s action figures, feeling that they most strongly embodied the era of his childhood. In the display Meteor Man, Mr T and Lieutenant Uhura stood alongside real-life icons Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. Also on show were games, and comics including Black Lightning, The Falcon and Lobo, one of a two-issue series featuring the first leading African American character in the genre.
My family and I enjoyed the exhibition which was smaller than expected. It was good to see examples of Golden Legacy magazines on various Black History Icons such as Alexander Puskin and Toussaint L’Ouverture, which I would love to have in my personal collection. My favourite items were the Marvill comics and the Malcolm X figurine which had the biography of Malcolm X and other important information on the packaging of the box.