Tenoch Huerta Mejía, who plays Namor, King of Talokan, in the “Wakanda Forever” movie is a real superhero.

It’s not because his Mayan god character can fly, breathe underwater and has superhuman strength.

It’s because he is a vocal critic of racism, colorism and supporter of Brown pride, the title of his newly released book, “Orgullo Prieto.”

“Like thousands of dark-skinned people, I’ve been called names” such as “dirty Indian,” he wrote in his new book.

“Mexico is a country that’s racist and denies it,” he added.

Mexico today is a mixed-race country and he wrote that it is a myth that skin color is unimportant.

“This is how we deny the cultural and linguistic diversity of all Indigenous nations, Afro-descendant communities, Asians,” he wrote.

Mexico is home to more than 23.2 million people who identify as Indigenous, representing 19% of the population, according to national statistics agency INEGI.

Around one in five Mexican adults said they had experienced discrimination over the past year, mainly because of their skin color, in a national survey.

But this racism also rears its head in the U.S. too.

Latinos can be racist towards each other and also to other racial and ethnic groups. It surfaced in the most ugly way in the recorded conversation of three Los Angeles City Council members and a union leader. This scandal led to the resignation of the Los Angeles City Council President Nury Martínez and of union leader Ron Herrera. City Council members Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo have both refused to resign. Cedillo’s term expires at the end of the year. 

Research shows that colorism is real.

A majority (62%) of Latino adults reported that having a darker skin color hurts their ability to get ahead in the United States today, according to Pew Research.

Around (59%) say having a lighter skin color helps Latinos get ahead.

Also around 42% of Latinos with darker skin personally experienced discrimination or were treated unfairly by someone who is not Latino, and 41% of Latinos with darker skin say they personally experienced discrimination or were treated unfairly by someone who is Latino, Pew Research also found.

“They taught us to be ashamed of our brown skin, to despise brown-skinned people, to mistreat Indigenous people, to feel ashamed of our ancestors, and I can no longer tolerate that,” Huerta told The New York Times. “There was nothing wrong with us. They didn’t have to force us to speak Spanish. They didn’t have to try to westernize us.” 

“Wakanda Forever” is more than a movie about superheroes. It’s about how colonizers have oppressed Black and Brown people. (Spoiler alert ahead.)

But the Talokanil like the Wakandans have never been conquered. They both have vibranium, a powerful metal that other countries want to exploit to build weapons and amass power. The kingdom of Talokan is inspired by the mythical Aztec paradise Tlālōcān.

In the origin story of Namor, the Indigenous are dying of diseases brought by the Spanish colonizers. They take a flower growing in vibranium that allows them to live under water and Namor is the first born in the ocean.

In the epic fight scenes the Wakandans and the Talokanil battle each other.

In the end, they realize they must join together to protect their worlds from the colonizers, the nations who would use vibranium against them to conquer the world.

The film’s director, Ryan Coogler, presented the Brown Talokanil and the Black Wakandans with grace, intelligence and strength.

“The success of this movie tears down the arguments of racist and white supremacists in Mexico, and everywhere, who claim brown skin doesn’t sell or that representation doesn’t sell,” Huerta told The New York Times. “It’s beautiful to see ourselves represented in a different way.”

It is awesome to see Black and Brown superheroes on the silver screen. Hopefully, Hollywood will create more roles for the people of color who are everyday heroes from teachers to first responders, chefs to community leaders.

Teresa Puente has spent her career reporting on immigration and Latino issues in the U.S. and has also reported extensively from Mexico. Previously, she was a staff reporter at the Chicago Tribune and...