- Christian Cooper, the Black birdwatcher who had the police called on him in Central Park, wrote a comic connected to the experience.
- “It’s a Bird,” the first chapter of DC Comics’ new digital-first collection of stories that centre marginalised voices, was released for free online on Wednesday.
- In the comic, a Black teenager uses binoculars for birdwatching that tell him the stories of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Amadou Diallo, who were all killed by police.
- This moment is about the ones we’ve lost, and how we’re going to keep from losing any more,” Cooper said in a press release. “And if you’re not talking about that, I don’t want to hear it.”
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A new digital-first graphic novel by Christian Cooper, the Black birdwatcher who filmed a white woman calling the police on him after he asked her to leash her dog, connects that watershed moment to George Floyd’s legacy.
Cooper, a former comics editor and writer, wrote the first chapter of DC Comics’ graphic novel that centres marginalised voices, called “Represent!”
Cooper was birdwatching on May 25 when he asked Amy Cooper, a white woman who shares his last name despite no relation, to leash her dog in New York’s Central Park. Cooper called the police and said she was being threatened by an “African-American man.”
The interaction occurred on the same day that Floyd was killed while in Minneapolis police custody. As Floyd’s death sparked worldwide protests over racism and police brutality, Cooper’s experience introduced the conversation of how racism can often lead to police involvement.
“It’s a Bird,” Cooper’s chapter of the graphic novel, was released for free online on Wednesday. The comic follows a Black teen named Jules who, while birdwatching, uses special binoculars that tell the stories of Floyd, Breonna Taylor, who was killed by police on March 13, and Amadou Diallo, who was killed in February 1999.
In a press release about the graphic novel, Cooper said he hopes young people will read the book and be “inspired to keep the focus where it needs to be, which is on those we have lost and how we keep from losing more.”
While Cooper wrote the story for “It’s a Bird,” artist Alitha E. Martinez, inker Mark Morales, colorist Emilio Lopez, and letterer Rob Clark Jr., collaborated on the project.
“There are people who are invested in distracting us right now, and there are people who want to distract us from their failures on so many other things,” Cooper continued. “That’s not what this moment is about. This moment is about the ones we’ve lost, and how we’re going to keep from losing any more. And if you’re not talking about that, I don’t want to hear it.”
The full chapter is available for free here.
- Read more:
- The man who filmed his encounter with a woman in Central Park says her actions were ‘definitely racist,’ but he’s asking people to stop making death threats against her
- The white woman who called 911 after a black bird-watcher asked her to leash her dog has ‘voluntarily surrendered’ her pet to an animal rescue
- How the name ‘Karen’ became a stand-in for problematic white women and a hugely popular meme
- A New York woman who called the police and falsely claimed that there was an ‘African-American man threatening her life’ said her actions were ‘unacceptable’