Black Panther is Not a Pull Up Your Pants Superhero
Sometimes in life things are convoluted. You can list many things from Donald Trump’s State of the Union Address to Eminem’s Sesame Street ass rhymes (I have watched the Count drop better bars) to some of these Black superhero TV shows. In the wake of Black Panther madness, here are some of the pitfalls I have seen in Luke Cage and Black Lightning that I could live without . In order to celebrate the greatness of Black Panther here are some of the pitfalls which Black Panther avoided in a masterful way and we are ever so grateful. Everyone has not seen Black Panther yet, so don't worry, there are no spoilers here!
Luke Cage- Caged ass lines that sound like it came from your uncle who read half of the autobiography of Malcom X and listened to way too much Farrakhan.
While I did appreciate most of the musical selections from Luke Cage, I could only like that T.V. show about as much as Childish Gambino loves dark-skinned Black women.
There were so many instances where names of historical Black figures were haphazardly dropped into the plot, like a White person who is trying to name drop the names of all of their Sunken Place friends in order to prove saying the N word makes them not racist. While I appreciate the name dropping, don’t get me wrong, you can’t drop the names in the middle of your subpar plot points and lack luster camera work, it will upset the ancestors, they did not die to have their names uttered in between some modern garbage which people claim to be a script.
Black Lightning- Pull Up Your Pants Superdad
Now, I am not sure where to start with the superhero who looks like he got a Static Shock costume off Etisy by a first-time designer. When I was watching this show I felt like I had to pull up my damn pajama pants on the sofa. The respectability politics paired with the main actor sounding like he played Othello one too many times, was stifling. I could just hear some White acting coach yelling A-N-N-U-C-I-N-A-T-E your words, so the masses will understand.
Although it is a change of pace to see someone on the CW who is not what I like to call CW Black (racially ambiguously Black) I just could not get over the microaggressions in this show and the let’s be the good Black people talk.
The show starts off this adventure into pre-Bill Cosby rape trial style type of politics right at the beginning of the show. Black Lightning was picking up his daughter from a police station and the next thing you know he was lecturing his daughter about why she should not protest and needed to attend a fund raiser. What in the name of Jack and Jill and the talented 10th is happening here? Pull-up your pants super dad lectures his daughter not once but twice in the span of a 40 minute show. One of those lectures came after she was defending herself, but that’s okay superdad we get it, stay quiet and let the men battle this out while you quote MLK out of context randomly at us again. They could have taken some lines right out of a Steve Harvey book and it probably would have fit in with the script. Just in case you don't know, that's not a good thing.
Not only was the politics of the show offensive but the usage of 1999 slang and cultural references to be “cool” was just unnecessary. Please TV writers tell me more about the Afropunks and Coachellas. Also, did they also call the gang The 100? Did they use YOLO more than once? Please, please come get your wannabe cool Uncle out of the writing room, now. One of the lines spewed out by some sad excuse for a low level street gang member was, “Why do black girls have to have so much attitude?” I mean, wow, shock me with some more creative writing.
Essentially, I could spend all day talking about the things in Black Lightening which irked me to no end but, here is a quick rundown of some of the other things which had me sitting back on my sofa saying, “Really, really?”
A) This drug dealer boss has a 7-year-old selling drugs? How is he still in business? This is not 1910 we have labor laws, my dude.
B) The actress looked like she got her powers from holding in a sneeze, if that’s how it works, I will be giving it a try.
C) I didn’t know Issa Rae had an older sister.
D) I know children of pull-up-your-pants people and they would not be in a hip-hop club. They would be singing journey with their White friends. Just a life observation. #Malia
E) Pull up your pants superdad is so lost in his need to appease the status quo he drives a Volvo, not even an Altima. The soccer mom in the suburbs life clearly has really gotten to this character and I officially can’t take him seriously.
F) This show even has an evil albino… like really?
G) Why did this albino man call people darkies and say some rude stuff about people’s full lips? What is the point of that? Being albino does not make you white. How does this fool have a drug empire?
H) I am going to start putting White before these White superheroes names. White Flash, White Irnonman, White Captain America (Sounds like an alt-rigters ultimate Halloween costume).
I) The show takes places in a city filled with Black people which has to be mockingly named Freeland. How are you just going to make a place called Freeland a violent mess where we people can’t talk about the consequences of political structures without backlash? That’s just a microaggression.
Listen I get it, everyone wants to profit off of this desire for everyone to be “woke” however, I need my superheroes not to quote some bullshit at me. If we are going to have superheros “saving” Black people first they don’t need to not fight crime but fight the capitalism, neo-imperialism, colorism, and lack of an economic opportunity. I mean, but why take it there, hating crime is easy, hating the reasons behind it takes thinking.
Superhero movies are great, but I am tired of half assed political commentary which is just lazy and overtly in your face and dished out with a sad attempt to be cool and lines for some weird self hating black people.
Black Panther, for the love of all food with flavor in it, we love and appreciate the fact that you avoided these traps.