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What if "The Archies" were black?

Black History Quiz
What if "The Archies" were black?
By Jim Stroud • Issue #93 • View online
Black History Quiz is a weekly celebration of the contributions and achievements of Africans and the descendants of the diaspora in the United States and around the world. PLEASE SHARE this newsletter and help spread the word about a proud people and their cultures. New issues post on Sundays at 7:30 am EST. | www.blackhistoryquiz.com

Archie with an all-black cast, “Fast Willie Jackson” was pretty 70s. It had the same goofy humor and good-natured characters that you’d find in an Archie book, but set in the inner city (MoCity to be specific), rather than middle class suburbia, and drawing from popular trends among the African-American youth of the period. The covers of the first several issues had Fast Willie (or DeeDee) asking a nondescript Caucasian guy or girl (who aren’t characters anywhere else in the book) “Can you dig it?”, to which the white kid replies “Yeah, I can dig it!”
The art and feel of the comics is very reminiscent of the Archie comic series of the 1970’s. Ironically, there is a connection to the popular Archie series (featuring characters like Betty, Veronica, Reggie and Jughead) that most people are familiar with. Can you guess what that connection is?
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Anybody remember this?
My interest in black history was sparked as a child when I read a collection of Golden Legacy comics. Golden Legacy was the umbrella title for a line of educational black history comic books published by Fitzgerald Publishing Co. from 1966 to 1976. Golden Legacy published comic book biographies of such notable figures as Toussaint Louverture, Harriet Tubman, Crispus Attucks, Benjamin Banneker and Matthew Henson.
After acquiring corporate sponsorship from Coca-Cola Company and a number of other prominent corporations, Golden Legacy published a total of nine million copies of its 16 32-page full-color volumes, distributing many of them to schools, libraries, churches, and civil rights organizations.
I would LOVE to see a reboot of this series. Maybe if I wish real hard it will happen?
BHQ ANSWER
The art on Fast Willie was by an Archie alum, Gus Lemoine, who some sources, such as Don Markstein’s Toonpedia, claim to be a pseudonym.
For further study:
Fast Willie Jackson (1976-1977) – ArchieQuest
Brands - Fast Willie Jackson - Page 1 - Museum Of UnCut Funk Store
Who Created the Comic Books?: A Scooter Artist from the Madhouse
Did you enjoy this issue?
Jim Stroud

Black History Quiz is a weekly celebration of the contributions and achievements of Africans and the descendants of the diaspora in the United States and around the world. PLEASE SHARE this newsletter and help spread the word about a proud people and their cultures. New issues post on Sundays at 7:30 am EST. | www.blackhistoryquiz.com

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