Power in People, Not Heroes

In this episode we welcome back Teron to talk about, what many call, a failed superhero movie. We dive into Robert Townsend’s “The Meteor Man” and pull out how this movie was ahead of its time as it was empowering, not only for communities of color, but for every community who’s ever needed to know what it means to “come together”.

Within Superpowered Society, there is this theme of change-making. It is all about how we can look at superheroes and learn what we can take from their stories, abilities, actions and rhetoric to empower ourselves and our communities. It is about how we can see these heroes within ourselves and how we can understand others through perspective.  Robert Townsend took bold step in trying to change the status quo of black movies in the 90’s and an even bolder step in putting a black superhero on the main screen.  Unfortunately his message and opportunity for impact was lost in the challenges and racial divide in our country.

Meteor Man is a superhero I think about on a regular basis as he’s a hero that I aspire to be like and embody in every challenging situation.  We need more Meteor Men/Women in today’s environment.

Two things to note! First, I did mispronounce Townsend’s last name several times (every time….) which I’m embarrassed about and apologize for. Secondly, this is another superhero that isn’t closely researched or talked about in academia. This may be because of the large expense and low revenue, categorizing it as a failed production (it impacted me, so I wouldn’t call it a failure!) . Many of the sources below are from interviews and magazines. You may be able to access it from your local library but to start, try to copy and paste the reference line into a search engine to find these articles:

  1. Braxton, G. (1993, Aug 03). As Robert Townsend sees it he’s fighting stereotypes with `Meteor man’ and new TV show. Los Angeles Times (Pre-1997 Fulltext)
  2. Boyar, J. (1993, Aug 06). Meteor man’ plummets, lacks power. Austin American Statesman
  3. ‘The meteor man’ A tinsel town fairy tale. (1993, Jul 14). New Pittsburgh Courier

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Credits:
Hosts – Ryan Blake and Teron B.
Intro/Outro Music By – Don Cannon (found on http://www.datpiff.com)
Transition Song – Big Hat Ray Ray – Ain’t Nobody Bad Like Meteor Man (1993)
Sound clips – The Meteor Man (Buy it on Amazon)
Feature Images – from World of Black Heroes

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