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Meet Naima Pepper
Not to be dramatic but, this it probably the coolest thing you would find on the internet today! & albeit a collective effort; it was spearheaded by Juliana “Jewels” Smith.
You see Naima Pepper is a fictional character created by writer, cultural worker & educator Juliana Smith. Smith, who earned her B.A in Sociology from UC Riverside & M.A in Ethnic Studies at UC San Diego, created (H)afrocentric as a way of connecting with her students (& all readers of the world) to challenge their preconceived notions on race, class, gender & sexuality. This is achieved through the dialogue between the characters in each comic strips.
If you want to know more about Juliana “Jewels” Smith & all the other awesome stuff she does click this link to her personal website! She has an online course you can take to teach you how to start & write your very own comic.
Now back to (H)afrocentric! Smith describes her comic as a feminist version of the popular & brutally honest show dear to our hearts; The Boondocks.
(H)afrocentic follows the life of a disgruntled undergraduate students as they navigate Oakland’s Ronald Reagan University; which is fictional of course.
Naima Pepper is a self-proclaimed radical feminist who idolizes Angela Davis, one of her sheros. She has a white mother & a soapbox is her weapon of choice; she constantly imagines herself giving speeches.
Smith said she chose a soapbox for Naima Pepper as a lighthearted dig at activists like herself who can sometimes lean on to self-righteousness.
LOL ! We love anyone who can make a joke about themselves!
Oh & did we mention Naima Pepper has a fairy godmother who bears a striking resemblance to Fannie Lou Hamer.
The other characters inn the comic are Miles Pepper -Naima’s brother- , Kwame & Rahsaan, & Elizondo “El” Ramirez. Click this link for some in dept information on each character’s description.
“I wanted to create a world where black women were smart & thoughtful, but still given space to have contradiction” – Juliana “Jewels” Smith
As mentioned earlier (H)afrocentric is a joint effort.
So meet Ronald Nelson; the illustrator.
Robert Nelson –in his exact words– is responsible for creating the environment.
He creates the lightning, the background, the drawings on papers that help bring the story to life.
Particular about his work Robert Nelson says he prefers polished & clean looks. He purposefully portrays that in every comic strip. He works on each strip for 10 hours, spending 20 hours per page!
Robert Nelson put his personal signature & design in (H)afrocentic through the very specific way he draws the hair on each of the characters. He achieves this look by giving their Afros unique shapes & presenting the textures in a distinctive way that fans would immediately know it’s an (H)afrocentric comic strip.
Photo : (H)afrocentric
(H) afrocentric is informative, woke, funny & witty! With current cultural references & old educational ones you should know.
In 2016 they won the Glph award for (H)afrocentic Volume 4; which followed Naima Peppers trials & tribulations as an undergraduate student on the job hunt. One read & you’ll laugh, but understand exactly why this brilliant piece deserved an award.
Mike Hampton, a seasoned self-published comic book artist & writer, is responsible for the color & lettering.
You can sign up for weekly comic strips & view more comics on (H)afrocentric‘s Instagram page.
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When you instagram live something and no one sees it. Every happen to you? Just us? OK. . . Read the entire comic strip online at hafrocentric.com/comic-strip . #hafrocentric #blackjoy #blackboyjoy #blackgirlmagic #afrofuture #afrofuturism #afropunk #melaninmonday #dearwhitepeople #womencreators #webcomic #blkcreatives #indiecreators #graphicnovels #blackcomics #hafrocentric #comic #comicstrip #sundayfunnies #staywoke
On hafrocentic.com you can purchase some collectors items of the comic strip, order physical copies & download digital ones. Smith said the execution of (H)afrocentric took six years!
Never give up on your dreams & follow your passion wisely.
“because it’s hard being Afrocentic in an Eurocentic world”
Make sure you purchase something from their store!
They even have cute tote bags, just in time for the summer!
Support the artist!
Just remeber #WhoToldYou