Podcast: For this UC Berkeley staffer, Black Panther was ‘life changing’

Alfred Day has always been a fan of superhero comics. “The idea that that you know those granted with great power could use that power on behalf of others is a really powerful idea,” he says. Photo: courtesy Alfred Day

As a kid, Alfred Day would spend hours holed up indoors reading comics. He loved Batman and Superman, but the character who really spoke to him — who taught him that he could be smart and powerful — was Black Panther.

“To see a character like Black Panther, who looked like me,” says Day, “who was the king of his whole country and in charge of any room he walked into — that’s an incredibly powerful idea. And honestly, a life-changing idea. At least it was for me.”

Day, the director of student affairs case management at UC Berkeley, is a co-founder of Berkeley HEROES, a staff club that meets once a month to talk about comics and graphic novels on their list. In February for Black History Month, they’re reading the first volume of Ta-Nehisi Coats’ current Black Panther series.

Berkeley HEROES (Higher Ed Reading Organization for Employees and Sidekicks) has organized a group of people to go see the movie Thursday, Feb. 15 on opening night at Rialto Cinemas in El Cerrito. And on Feb. 23, the club is hosting a discussion of the comic series with the Black Staff and Faculty Organization on campus.

For more information about events or to learn more about Berkeley HEROES, visit their website or Facebook page. Click Play below to listen to the podcast.