Champion new worlds.

The Hero Nation Reading Champions program is an initiative that seeks to improve youth literacy through comic books, manga and an engaging literary curriculum. The program includes the Hero Nation Comic Library, a growing collection of comics and manga, and the Comic Book League, an after-school program— created in partnership with Bright Futures — that engages youth to think critically about storytelling in comics and manga.

Why Comics?

From thrilling space adventures to depictions of real-life social issues— comics have always served as a platform where the human experience is conveyed in grounded, fantastical and nuanced stories. The colorfully illustrated pages feature superheroes who often go through struggles that reflect our own experiences and can even have a positive impact on our development.

How Do Comics Help?

As referenced in Black Comics: Politics, Race and Representation, according to American psychologists Richard Koestner, Joel Weinberger, and David C. McClelland, superheroes can have a significant impact on the young developing mind for both personality and identity development; specifically through the process of self-identification and cultural association of the fictionalized heroes. Simply put, comics can help us discover the hero within.

Wakanda and Beyond

The Essentials

Discover the world of Black Panther and beyond by starting off with these essential reads from our library. Written by National Book Award-winning writer, T-Nehisi Coates, Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet Vol. 1-2 takes King T’Challa on a journey as Wakanda endures a violent uprising. Ytasha L. Womack’s Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-fi and Fantasy Culture offers a detailed insight on the history and cultural relevance of Afrofuturism—as a celebration of the African diaspora through a futuristic lens—and how it applies to music, art, literature and even fictional kingdoms like Wakanda.

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