Last Halloween, trick-or-treaters were greeted by Frederick Douglass dressed as a stalwart sailor on 77th Street, while goblins and ghouls passing by the New-York Historical Society on Central Park West were welcomed by Abraham Lincoln in full Captain America regalia. These two historic American heroes will be getting into costume once again, as a part of the New-York Haunted Society’s Superheroes/Supernatural Halloween Bash. And, to celebrate our special exhibition Superheroes in Gotham, this year they will be transforming into superheroes!
So, which superheroes will they be? You get to decide! Click here to vote.
For Frederick Douglass,—the great African-American abolitionist, statesman, and social reformer—the choices are Professor Xavier (X) or Isaiah Bradley, a.k.a. the Black Captain America.
Professor X was created at the height of the Civil Rights Movement and inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., a world-renowned African-American social reformer, just like Frederick Douglass. As founder and leader of the X-Men, Professor X promotes peace and equality among all people and is also widely admired for his intellect and learning.
Less well known, though no less heroic than Steve Rogers, Isaiah Bradley —the Black Captain America—was also the product of a super soldier serum. An infantryman during World War II, Bradley endured harsh discrimination because of his race. As Black Captain America, Bradley disproved of stereotypes—just as Frederick Douglass did in real life—and is an underground legend in the Marvel Universe.
And for the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, the choices are Oliver Queen, alias Green Arrow or J’onn J’onzz, the Martian Manhunter.
Though Honest Abe didn’t start life as a spoiled billionaire like Oliver Queen, he has plenty in common with the modern-day Robin Hood that Queen became as his alter-ego,Green Arrow. Like Green Arrow, Lincoln fought to free an enslaved population and is a symbol of progress.
Although Lincoln never had green skin, like Martian Manhunter, J’onn J’onzz, he was a fierce fighter against injustice.