President James Roy Wilde in “O PRESIDENTE NEGRO”. 1923
THE TEN MOST IMPORTANT BLACK PRESIDENTS IN SCIENCE FICTION and FANTASY.
'For decades Black Presidents were delightfully commonplace in SF as an instant shorthand for “we’re in the future” because, well, it’s not happening in the present. Along the way, it may have actually helped make President Obama a reality, as less enlightened people got used to seeing heroic Black Presidents in the Science Fiction world.'
It was also a way for Hollywood to increase their quota of black actors, and not make them all villains or sidekicks. The black President was a common figure of respect that didn’t push the commercially-reliable white action hero off the screen. Along these lines we also start getting black FBI and police supervisors when racism and seniority was still keeping blacks out of most positions of authority in those organizations.
It was also an additional source of comic indignity for the white action hero/vigilante. Not only does he have to obey his boss, who is holding him back from killing all the bad guys in a rampage of lawless revenge violence, but his boss is black, or a woman! It’s so hard to be a vigilante.