Since 2003, Vishavjit Singh has been documenting the struggles and prejudice experienced by Sikhs as a result of the 9/11 attack. In one courageous act Vishavjit decided to gear up in a Captain American costume and hit the streets of the Big Apple in order to challenge the way New Yorkers, and Americans, think about superheroes and bearded Sikhs just like himself.
Though his day was peppered with both ridicule and praise, Vishavjit was able to acknowledge the impact he had on the people of New York and the way he was able to make others think about their own perceptions of superheroes and those of other backgrounds. The indispensable moment of triumph came when a child approached him innocently stating that Captain America does not have a turban or a beard. When Vishavjit explained that he was born here and Captain America could have been Sikh, black or Hispanic- the child conceded that Captain America could be Sikh. It is this new “neural connection in the collective consciousness” that Vishavjit was looking for. He hopes that such a response will become the norm with regard to the way we consider our childhood heroes and others of different cultures.
Sikh : A follower of Sikhism. Sikhism is a monotheistic religion which originated in the fifteenth century Punjab region.