An Education of Black Superheroes and Black Panther’s Importance in Mainstream Media

This past week I stumbled upon a Facebook post that I honestly could have scrolled past, but I felt compelled to read it as well as the comments that followed.  The main post read, “Ok, so I’m curious… wtf is the big deal about Black Panther being black… Has anyone seen Luke Cage? lololol”. The poster then concluded their pots in the comment section with, “Or Black Lightning???”. Now you may understand why I may have been compelled to read the post, comments and write my own piece on this particular… subject. However, there were a few more comments by a couple of others, most of which were jpgs and gifs, but I feel it will be important to this post.

A friend of this person commented “found him” with a jpg of Luke Cage (Mike Colter) standing firm and looking strong with his arms folded and bullet holes in his shirt. The OP (Original Poster) Then commented, “He’s more of a man than Black Panther I mean look at that sexy body”. I had slight issue of this as the OP seems to dismiss Black Panther based on his lean and muscular physique as compared to Luke Cage’s powerful muscular physique. The next comment was a GIF of Shaquille O’Neal as Steel shooting a one-handed free throw with a towel that landed on a dogs head. At this point I feel that the posters weren’t really trying to help clarify an actual reason as to why Black Panther (the hero and the movie included) is a big deal. The OP then made another statement, ” Let me clarify… I’m just curious. There’s lots of black superheroes, but I’m curious why Black Panther is getting all the hype“. One could have suggested a google search, but to no avail. Instead another friend of the OP commented, “Black panther is also a symbol of the black pride party that existed as a counter party to the KKK.”.

Well…. that’s not right at all. Yes, there was a group called the Black Panther Party that had the original purpose to combat police brutality and to provide survival programs and provide help to communities. This help would include: education, tuberculosis testing, legal aid, transportation assistance, the production and distribution of shoes for poor people and the Free Breakfast for Children Program. Although, in 1969 President Hoover declared that that would be the last year for the Black Panther Party. They were deemed communists by the FBI despite the programs that they were providing across the country and worldwide. Through the Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) the FBI used unlawful actions in order to destroy the Black Panther Party. These action led to a five-hour shoot-out at the BPP headquarters in Southern California, the death of Fred Hampton, who was the Chicago Black Panther leader and a late apology years later from the FBI director for the devastatingly malicious acts from the FBI . Long story short, The Black Panther was NOT named after the Black Panther Party nor is he a symbol for it, even considering that his original name was Coal Tiger.

Sorry for the detour, so going back to the post, another friend of the OP decided to make some sort of point by commenting, “Blade. Meteor man. Blankman. Static shock. Steel. All black, all with movies besides static shock”. Blankman ?? Really, Blankman?? The character was created by Damon Waynes as a spoof to Batman and unlike Batman, Blankman, could not fight, was a pretty lousy inventor and was a coward. It was a good comedy though. After that post, the friend posted GIFs of Meteor Man and Blankman, who got slapped and punched after being called Susan. You know “Slap me and call me Susan?”. This all kind of seemed like mockery in a way, but it showed me something. The people who posted in my mind wouldn’t have been able to name 10 black superheroes without a google or bing search which proves that there still isn’t enough exposure of not only black superheroes, but SOC (Superheroes of Color). However, I would like to address the rest of the heroes listed with the exception of Blade for obvious reasons. While ever hero IS black, the are minor heroes and by that I mean that they are not top dogs.

Static (not Static Shock) and Meteor Man have great significance in mainstream media. With Meteor Man being the first black superhero to have a movie in 1993 to let black youths see that black superheroes do exist and who doesn’t want to see a black man defending his neighborhood from gangs and making a positive impact in his community? Which brings me to Static. From the late 90s to the early 2000s on Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons, Virgil Hawkins was what the man! To be young, gain super powers, handling school and working with Batman(Bruce Wayne) and then going to the future to work with Batman (Terry McGinnis), while seeing your future self? Alright that was only once, but that was cool and I could relate Virgil which is why he’s still one of my favorite heroes today.  Now, I would just like to list some other notable black superheroes that have been in mainstream media that were missed in the post and this will be without googling and no I did not look these up I promise you.

1. Storm
2. Spike
3. Cyborg
4. The Herald
5. Bishop
6. John Stewart (Green Lantern)
7.Vixen
8.Frozone
9. Aqualad (That one’s iffy)
10. Bumble Bee
11. Misty Knight
12. Thunder and Lightning (Black Lightning’s daughters, I may have the names wrong)
13. The Savior (Super Girl and Young Justice)
14. J’onn (Martian Man Hunter)…. Okay that’s pushing it
15. How can I forget……. Spawn!!!!!!!!
16. Walter Jones a.k.a. Zack
17. Aisha
Lastly, The final comment on the post (referring to the movie) stated,” It’s just people who love to complain about “white washing” or whatever relishing in the fact there’s a major black superhero triple A movie as though it irks white people. Even though the vast majority of us (people in general as well as white people) don’t care what race the hero is as long as he/she is cool.“. I don’t completely disagree with this post in the sense of not caring about the race of a superhero to a point. For instance I loved Batman: The Animated Series growing up, I also loved the Power Rangers and X-Men, so race wasn’t important to me at that stage, but as I stated earlier, being able to relate to Static and seeing someone like me saving the day was pretty awesome. As far as the “white washing” the movie wasn’t about that either, it was about proving that a movie with a majority black cast could not ONLY do well in the states, but over seas as well. That and we can play a wide variety of roles instead of the constant stereotypes of slaves, drug dealers, crime bosses, inmates, uneducated, degenerates, abusive people. We can kings and queens, teachers, intellectuals, boys and girls next door, adventurers, mythological goddesses and gods.

So, what is the importance of Black Panther? Well I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t tell you any other movie that not only brought black people out in droves to see it, but people of all races, comic book fans and non comic book fans, young, young at heart and old have come out to support this film for whatever reason of there on. Meteor Man was the beginning, both Spawn and Blade took things to another level with their individual success, Hancock had some success as well (I forgot about Will Smith), but Black Panther’s importance, it’s  impact in cinematic history will open doors for all actors of color and that the portrayal of us doesn’t always have to be negative. Each and everyone of us is beautiful and are capable of tremendous endeavors and now the rest of the world has a chance to see that. Oh,  in case you didn’t know, Black Panther is the FIRST BLACK mainstream superhero in comics. That’s a big deal right????

If you have a favorite black superhero or several, please feel free to list him/her or them in the comment section. Thanks for reading. Critiques are welcomed as well 🙂

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Where in the World have you Been?

Well, I’ve just been busy, mostly with work, hanging out with friends going to different events, cosplay and dating. So that and not wanting to stay in the house all of the time caused me to putt blogging on the back burner. I also didn’t feel like blogging because my mind was on other things and people. So even though I’m behind by what…… 4 months (even longer if you count last year) I’ll try my best to keep things going.

 

So long to the Marveled One

For almost 8 years I’ve been friends with someone who seemed to be and was a very interesting and alright individual. He was very knowledgeable, intelligent, honest and cool. He seemed to be someone that I could be friends with until the end of time, that is until about year 4 of our friendship. I started noticing and being bothered things that that I would normally brush off. He would do and say things that would irritate and infuriate me. He felt he was right every time he said something and then have some smart-as…. alec comment. He always complained when thing didn’t go his way, especially on his birthday and he always had a way of poking and prodding someone for answers even if they or that person didn’t want to give any.

I actually meet him again for after 7 months (he kept track) to see if I would be moved to change my mind about keeping him as a friend. Well… I should start by saying that the reason that it was seven months was because for that long I wanted to punch him  or put him in a submission maneuver. I basically kept my distance away from him because I felt if I was near him that I would do something that I would regret. Now back to the present, I wasn’t moved to keep him as a friend because he was as irritating as ever, even cause a friend of mine to cry. So I made the decision that I didn’t want him to be a part of my life any longer. I expect to see him from time to time at conventions, but outside of that, not at all. He was a good friend at times, but overall he was selfish, manipulative, oblivious and insensitive. I can’t speak for anyone else that knows him, but for myself, this is the right decision for me.

I didn’t want to have to do this

My Second Heart: A Crystal Gem From a Friend

Last weekend (September 12-13) has honestly been one of my favorite weekends ever.  It was mostly due to a few factors:

1. Hanging out with a friend outside of where we would normally meet
2. Going to two different yet interesting conventions

3. Watching horror movies and Monster High
4. Talking, listening and sharing stories
5. Overall just enjoying each others company
6. Cats!! I almost forgot the cats, so adorable <3<3

(I’ll go into details in a later post)

While #5 would’ve been all there needed to be for that weekend, there was one other thing that made it special which is why my heart swells with joy to share this with whoever reads this.

On Thursday September 10, my friend asked me if I wanted to come to her house for a horror movie marathon over the weekend and of course I said yes. However, we were also supposed to be going to a convention called Horror Hound on Sunday since we couldn’t go on Saturday due to tickets being sold out for that day. On top of that, she invited me to go to a gem and rock show on Saturday before we watched movies. So Saturday comes around and I head over to my friend’s house about 2:15pm. She opens the door a greets me with a hug and she then gives me a tour of the house. While on the tour I get to meet the cats as well. Of course not knowing me they were a bit shy, but they’d grow out of that later on.

Before we left for the gem and rock show, my friend actual pulled out a couple of things that she got from the show on Friday. The first was a small bag of Amethyst shards, which I was allowed to select one. The next item or rather gift that gave me was a Rose Quartz crystal in the shape of a heart.  She said that her reasoning for giving me this particular gemstone was because she thought it fit me. The Rose Quartz is known as the crystal of unconditional love, the heart stone along with a few other titles. What she said (and I’m paraphrasing this) is that the Rose Quartz fits me because of the love my friends have for me and the love I have for them. Hearing that from her (the actual explanation) along with holding the Rose Quartz heart in my hand..well touched my heart.

20150921_231717On a side note, I keep the heart right next to my bed and I make sure that I hold it once everyday. While holding it I’m reminded of what the Rose Quartz means: the love for my friends, their love for me and a particular character on a certain show who was nurturing and full of love for all creatures herself.

To Be Continued….

I Will not Bleed

Greetings all! I think it’s been two months since I’ve last posted anything (being busy and laziness), but I do have something for you. That is the poem I finished last night that I titled “I Will not Bleed”. Please enjoy!

**************************************************************************************************************

I surrender myself to you
I do not wish to fight
Show me that you are who I know you to be

Look me in my eyes
Ready your weapon
I promise that I will not bleed

Use your tongue to pierce my heart
Open my eyes to your true self
Deliver to me your love

This is what I want my friend
Open up fresh wounds
We both shed tears

Decease your blows
No crimson floor
So little space between us

Collapsed into each others arms

A fire burns within and around us

A bond ever stronger

Insanity Phase 1 and Phase 2 Jitters

Alrighty, so today I completed the second  of my fourth week of my Insanity workout and I’m psyched that I’ve made it this far. I’ve noticed a few physical changes as far as losing inches off of my waist (well really an inch and a half) and of course the abdominal development. I’ve also noticed that my conditioning is better than it was when I started and it’s somewhat close to where it was when I abruptly ended Insanity last year. Another thing that I’m excited about is the ending date of this workout, which is July 24, 2015  which is one week before GenCon. So while I’m happy about nearing the end of phase 1 I’m getting a bit nervous for phase 2. While I did manage to get one week of the second phase completed I don’t remember much of it with the exception of it being a bit more difficult than phase 1. All in all I’m going to get through it. I just hope that by the end of the program that I’ve done enough physically and nutritionally to accomplish my goal.

I should’ve said it

Before I get into this I wanted to start by saying that for some reason in the month of June I start getting the need to open myself up about things minor and big (mostly minor in my opinion), so just be aware that there may be more posts of this nature. Also, be aware that there may be more posts! In this case however, this is a very minor subject, but it’s important to me.

Now this has been bothering me ever since this interaction occurred back in March for Comic Con Indy. I know the reason it bothers me so much is because of who the person is, but I’ll refer to her as a good friend. This friend for this particular weekend cosplayed as two Marvel characters, but she made two versions of one of the character’s which one being a classic version and a newer film version from the Avengers: Age of Ultron movie. What happened was a friend and I were walking in a somewhat crowded hall when I happened to spot her heading towards the exit. We managed to catch up to her and we talked a little bit. A little bit before she was about to leave my friend wanted to take a picture of her in her cosplay. She declined the picture in a somewhat comical way, but then she wanted to know what I thought of her cosplay. I paused for a couple of seconds (mostly looking at her eyes and then I finally said the the three words that I regret to this day.

I said “You look (slight stutter) great”. It was positive, it was a compliment, but right after I said I kept referring to myself as an idiot because that wasn’t how I really felt. I wanted to say something with more emotion, but I held back because I felt she might have thought it was a bit much. To be honest, it was probably more about her than the cosplay even though her cosplay was pretty damn awesome and she worked hard on it. What I wanted to tell her is that she looked gorgeous which was the truth. Unfortunately I can’t take it back, nor do I have a physical or digital picture of her in her cosplay. What I do have is a mental picture of her that I can’t forget along with a caption next to it reminding me that I’m an idiot.

So I May end up Dating a White Girl Someday (Shrugs Shoulders)

This is something that has come up quite a bit year after year and it’s mainly two specific family members. Now it’s already been stated to me from one that they want me to marry a “nice-black” girl while the other just doesn’t want me to date a white girl although  she can be with a white man. On the other side of the spectrum my mom doesn’t care about the race of the person I marry as long as they or rather she is on the up and up and actually wants to be with me.

My take… should I actually manage to be in a relationship and even reach the stage of marriage her race/ethnicity is not going to be a deciding factor for why I choose to be with her whoever she may be. She’ll have her own beautiful spark that shines above all others that will draw me towards her and hopefully the opposite is true as well. We’ll spend time getting to know each other better, a few of our interests may become each others an then we’ll become a large part of each others lives that we couldn’t imagine living another day without the other. I don’t expect it to go that soothly, but it’s a nice thought.

Even though there’s someone I feel could be that person now or in the future, it would be wrong for me to approach her at this time because it wouldn’t be fair to her. In time if were both still single  and there’s mutual interest who knows and if not all I can do is hope for both of our happiness wherever our paths take us and move on. ^^

Randomness Throughout May

It’s almost been two months since I’ve posted anything. I’d actually have to put this on laziness even though I’ve been busy for May, but I did manage to gather some…. “interesting” things this month so here goes nothing.

Insanity Take 2
1. I’ve been working out since the middle of April. I’ve noticed some slight changes in my body from workouts I’ve been following on Youtube (Mainly Brandon Carter,  Christine Salus and  yoga with various instructor with Psyche Truth). However, from May 25 to May 30 I’ve completed my first week of Insanity. This is actually my second time doing Insanity, but I wasn’t able to complete it al the way through due to lack of time. I made it through a month and 1 week (minus the rest week) my first go around, but I plan to complete the entire program this time.

Brandon Carter- https://www.youtube.com/user/HighLifeWorkout

Christine Salus- https://www.youtube.com/user/ChristineSalus

Psyche Truth- https://www.youtube.com/user/psychetruth

Cosplaying the Rubber Man
2. The reason I’ve decided to switch up my routine is basically for faster results. I believe I mentioned this in a previous post, but I’m trying to cosplay as Luffy (Monkey D. Luffy) from One Piece and this particular getup… minus the scar.
luffy_render_by_oxoluffy_d6nlsev_by_sthenpzarts-d7idnwq

I have everything I need for this and another version of Luffy with the exception of sandals/flip-flops and visible abs.

Good Grief

3. Well earlier this year I planned an event with someone for May 2. It was basically dinner, dessert and comic books since it was also free comic book day. Unfortunately (not that this was a bad thing) only the comic books happened for me. What hurts me about this though is that this was planned months in advanced and we were both excited for the time we were going to spend together, but she decided to have another event with a friend and not tell me about it even though I called and texted her a week before the event.

Aunties Say the Darndest Things

4. My auntie (my mom’s sister) obtained her PHD right after her birthday this month, however that’s not why I’m typing this even though I’m proud of her accomplishments. The evening of her birthday we traveled Fort Wayne and went to Texas Roadhouse. Apparently after getting out of the vehicle she along with my mom and grandma noticed a female (who happened to be white) looking very hard in our direction. I wasn’t paying attention, but they were and according to them the female was straightening up her hair while looking at me of all people. After that, my aunt asked me if I attracted white girls? In my mind I’m saying “how the hell should I know, I’m single”, but instead I say “I don’t know what kind of girls I attract”. Then she ends up referring to the girl as a skank for whatever reason of her own. What’s up with that?!?

Part 2

My Great Aunt (My grandma’s sister) made a trip to Fort Wayne to see my auntie (mom’s sister) graduate. She brought along my Great Grandma and two of my younger cousins as well. After playing uno (AND DOMINATING….. sorry) with one of my cousins I took her back to my great aunt’s room. We talked a little and watched some tv when another instance of relationships came up. My youngest cousin asked if I had a girlfriend. I said no and then my great aunt followed up with “he’s not worried about no girls right now…. and she could’ve ended there. She then says ” Tez, you’ll probably marry a white girl just like the rest (meaning most resent marriages that have taken place) of the men in the family”.

5. …. I thought I had something for this. There is something on my mind, but I don’t know. I will say this as cryptic as this will be without explanation. I think.. I feel it will be worth the wait, it’s just not time yet ❤