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These outlets are lowballing it. The buzz is real. To the uninitiated and the ignorant, that may not seem like a big deal, but it is. Blackness itself is complex. But blackness armed with superpowers? There are many politics to being black, and those politics get seemingly more complex when supernatural forces and powers are involved, be they fictional or otherwise.
This is especially the case for Black Panther … who just so happens to share his name with the political party. In the beginning—that is July —there was God.
Marvel predictably wanted this rectified … and that rectification came in the form of an unceremonious name change. And what was his name change, ladies, gentlemen, and everyone in between?
And, predictably, since it was such a stark change, even the characters in that particular comic had questions about it specifically the Thing. Marvel Cue an eye-roll with the power of a thousand Nigerian suns. To the surprise of no one, sans Marvel, the name change did not go over well.
I say this because the two things are not as different as Marvel wanted them to be. The Black Panther Party has always been about the self-determination of black people, here and abroad. Concepts like these are not alien to Black Panther the character.
These are the same principles that he—and the Black Panthers before him— fought to maintain and uphold for the success and survival of the people of Wakanda. But even in that fictionalization, that incredible link to blackness and the commitment to protecting it speaks volumes as to why the conflation is not misplaced … and why the importance and complexities of black superheroes should not be downplayed.
Which brings me to my final point: Mainly because, even if you try not to acknowledge it, a black superhero carries loads of implications with him or her.
Superheroes themselves, in the American context, carry loads of meanings, interpretations, symbolism and extended metaphors.
Hell, most of them can be deconstructed and connected to some well-known, Judeo-Christian biblical figure i. And it is these complex aspects that give them their mythological appeal and position them as part escapism and part social commentary.
Giphy Once you add race, gender, sexuality, disability and whatnot to the mix, the ante gets upped. Characters who do experience the injustices of our reality like police brutality and systematic oppression, but have the means—quite physically—to fight back.
You get heroes like the bulletproof Luke Cage. Or the unconquerable African king known as Black Panther. Or the people-freeing champion and weather goddess known as Storm. And, sure, I will acknowledge that this does carry some burdens with it. It can be tiring to have a black character that is forever trying to contend with the important political and historical connotations of what it means to be both superpowered and black and residing in America at the same time.
And it can be tiring having to be a black character who is unofficially charged with the task of attempting to represent blackness in its entirety—in the hero context and in pop culture at-large. Luke Cage Netflix Because sometimes? You just wanna be a black hero who punches and kicks a lot of shit without having to deal with all of that.
And sometimes, you just wanna be black and not have to deal with all of that. You just merely want to exist. And that, for better or worse, is political and revolutionary as fuck.Jan 21, · This Public Health Statement is the summary chapter from the Toxicological Profile for leslutinsduphoenix.com is one in a series of Public Health Statements about hazardous substances and their health effects.
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