The Daily Planet

Where fictional worlds meet the real world

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Heroes with Words – Soldiers without Swords

“The Black Press: Soldiers without Swords,” is an eye-opening documentary about an aspect of African American history that I had never learned about. In the public school system and even in my communications courses in college, the history of the black press had never come up. I was happy to learn, yet disappointed that another teacher never brought up this rich and inspiring history.

When I think about the “American dream” I think about those who were brought here without a choice, who made a home in a country that was against them, and who had the same dreams as free citizens. Although African Americans were made to feel inferior they did not have inferior dreams. Their legacy in the press is as wonderful as their legacy in American music, the arts, and athleticism. Ironically, and in my humble opinion, black culture proved its richness, and defined the United States.

The Black Press gave witness to the darkest and brightest aspects of American history. After the reconstruction period, “The Free Speech,” caused uproar for exposing lynching in the South. The newspaper became a vessel for social change. The black reporters practiced activist journalism, and were willing to see the worst of humanity in order to expose injustice.

The documentary showed that the press has the power to change and build communities. “The Chicago Defender,” was responsible for the migration of southern blacks to the North. The exodus meant new urban communities and more newspapers that gave hope and pride to those growing communities. Being a member of the black press was glamorous, and the press was a training ground for black professionals, from photographers and typographers to cartoonist and literary giants  (i.e. Langston Hughes and Gwendolyn Brooks).  Their words were a “Sting for Our Enemies—Honey for Our Friends,” like the motto of “The Washington Bee.” Eventually many black reporters moved to white newspapers when segregation ended. Most newspapers started failing, and the presses closed. With the rise of citizen journalism and online media, a new network of communication is bound to provide a platform for debate on issues that concern black America.


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Hometown Heroes

 VICTORIOUS By Diana Contreras

Today I want to spotlight some real life super heroes: Midwives. When I was seventeen my bestfriend got knocked up and had a c-section at Kendall Regional Hospital. At the time Kendall Regional had a 50% c-section rate, which was better than their all time high at 70%. Mind you the normal rate should be less than 15%.

I went to visit her and she was in horrible pain. She called the nurses three times to see why and they just kept giving her pain medications. Then she started screaming like someone was stabbing her over and over again. It was tramautic for me to say the least. Finally a nurse came in and asked her if she had urinated since the operation and she said no. Her bladder was so full that it was putting pressure on her wound and no one thought to bring her a bed pan. My best friend Paula asked everyone to leave the room except me so she could pee. I was happy to be there for her but I had to hold back tears as I smiled at her and tried to do my best faucet impression.

I got preganant two years later and swore I would not have C-section and that I would not have my baby in a hospital. I was going to be like my Grandma and I was going to have a natural birth. Boy did my confidence slap me in the face. I ended up going through 20 hours of labor! If it was up to my son he would probably still be in my belly today.

At one point I thought “You had to be different huh? Now look at you. You think your a bad-ass but you should have just gone to the hospital.” But the midwives believed in me, as did my mom, my dad, and my boyfriend. I finally did it. I did not tear and I gave birth to a 9 pound baby (what can I say I love food). Sheri Daniels was there and she litterally wrote the book on Midwifery. She had delivered over 7,000 babies and she said to me, “You’re tough as nails kid.”

I have gone through a lot since then and in the face of adversity I look to those everyday heroes who believed in me. Right now the University of Miami is kicking my ass, but I just think about how I went through a 20 hour labor, so I can do anything, no fear baby; I got this. Thank You Midwives, you make the world a better place for those who dare to want it that way.

“A woman doesn’t need to be rescued.  It’s not the place for the knight in shining armor.  It’s the place for her to face her darkest moment so that she can lay claim to her victory.” ~ Cara Mulhann on The Business of Being Born

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Why I won’t miss Marvel/DC: Punk Rock Jesus

Punk Rock Jesus is an Epic written as a five-issue mini series. I am not sure why it is not a continuing series, because it definitely should be. The story revolves around several characters who seek redemption in an insane world. It’s part Truman Show, part Boondock Saints and part 20th century Bible story!?!

In the future… where corporate greed still rules over the media, the hotte$t reality show on TV follows the clone of Jesus from birth to who knows when. With the Vatican’s approval, a genius scientist clones Jesus because she is promised unlimited funding for her save-the-environment project, which involves engineering a bacteria that would absorb CO2 in the atmosphere and provide clean energy. She is an atheist, who soon regrets her choice and realizes that you don’t make deals with the devil incarnate, a reality TV producer.

If you want an awesome story about being the star of a reality TV show, and literally being the second coming mixed in with science and modern relevancy, then you should check it out. It is missing nothing and the art is spectacular without colors. Sean Murphy draws and writes this revolutionary comic, and it is hard to believe this is his fist time writing. Then again all artists are writers and all writers are artists. Cheers to you Murphy and keep it coming!