A firestorm has erupted over NetFlix hit series, ” Luke Cage. ” Allegations include the cast not having enough White characters and Black push back over the title character not being married to a Black woman in real life.
Fortunately, this drama hasn’t overshadowed what makes the series so successful: its bulletproof hero is fighting back against urban crime. Viewers of all hues thrill to witness autonomy where it’s rarely seen, on screen or off, in the inner city.
Cage doesn’t have to dial 911 or lobby indifferent politicians to create safety in his unsafe community. All this power man need do is overcome reluctance many non-bulletproof hostages experience and overwhelm opposition used to getting a free pass.
Television portrayals of Black superheroes are usually humorous, like the Brown Hornet and Stinger; campy along the lines of Meteor Man or serious supporting characters in Arrow, the Flash and Supergirl shows.
Luke Cage was the result of late 20th Century civil rights gains and that era’s Blackploitation movie genre. His origin portrayed a wrongly imprisoned inner citizen given a lease on life thanks to volunteering for an experiment. Despite embarrassing dialogue ( the infamous ” Sweet Christmas ” refrain comes to mind ), the character became well known in the Marvel Universe.
Ironically, Luke Cage creating safety message places him in line with self help advocates as divergent as the Nation of Islam, mainstream citizen patrols iike Detroit Street Watchers and Black conservatives.
The color of super with this character is his representation of inner citizens stepping up instead of bowing down to chaos. Luke Cage doing so while Black is what superheroes of all hues do. He’s simply the first Black one on television to become popular doing so.
The takeaway from this series should be the color of super is shared by those stepping up to chaos.
– Nadra Enzi aka #CapBlack, #RLSH. @nadraenzi on twitter.
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