The Harlem Globetrotters game
Supa: The Harlem Globetrotters game. Photograph: Museum of Childhood

Featuring an array of pop cultural figures and figurines, Afro Supa Hero is an exhibition by graphic designer and art director Jon Daniel offering a unique window into African Caribbean life in 1960s and 70s London.

It maps the influences of popular and less widely known black cultural heroes, at a time when the scattered population in London could not find the icons they sought in England.

The collection commemorates the transitional journey to adulthood of a boy who looked for inspiration from black role models in African-American culture, as well as figures from his own family background.

Daniel was inspired to display the figures and comics after a post about his collection on the Creative Review website received a great deal of positive feedback.

It hasn’t been an easy collection to build. He says: “It’s taken 20 years, and some of the pieces took a long while to get hold of and were quite pricey!”

Running in concurrence with Black History Month, the exhibition showcases classic 1970s action figures such as Mr T along with historical personalities such as Nelson Mandela and Mohammed Ali.

Also on display are a range of games and comics from the period, including Lobo that featured the first lead African American character to appear in a comic book.

However, it is not just the cultural and comic book figures from the exhibition to which Daniel attributes his personal development. A photograph of his brother also features. He says it was a combination of familial and cultural icons that influenced him.

This synthesis of characters allows for a strong embodiment not just of the era, but of the artist they helped shape.

Afro Supa Hero will be at the V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, E2 9PA, until 9 February 2014.

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