Marvel’s Luke Cage…The Most Woke Series To Watch!!!
October 3, 2016 — I pressed play Saturday morning and damn near cried when it ended. Marvel’s Luke Cage series dropped on Netflix this past Friday and it is unapologetically BLACK. Former music journalist, now television writer/producer Cheo Hodari Coker, created this series for Marvel Studios. Luke Cage features a predominately Black cast starring Mike Colter, Mahershala Ali, Simone Missick, Theo Rossi, Alfre Woodard, Erik LaRay Harvey and Rosario Dawson. There’s no Hollywood whitewashing here, people. This is hip-hop and it starts in Harlem.
Luke Cage aka Power Man is an African-American superhero in Marvel Comics. Gifted through experimentation, Luke Cage dons superhuman strength, stamina, and almost impenetrable skin and muscle. However, he was not the first. In 1969, Marvel Comics introduced their first African-American superhero, The Falcon. Actor Anthony Mackie as a member of the Avengers currently portrays the Falcon. Marvel Studios continue to expand their diversity in film with Falcon and the much-anticipated Black Panther movie. Luke Cage is the third web series leading up to the Defenders crossover mini-series anchored by Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist. “It’s all connected...” – Marvel.
Why is this series so important? Luke Cage embodies the American Black experience. The experience driven by various trials, tribulations, and stereotypes while trying to make it in America. The Black experience has been channeled in our arts: music, visual, writing, and craftsmanship. This series is painted in Wu-Tang, verbally scripted in the verse of Gang Starr (R.I.P. GURU), with Biggie hanging on the wall. The scores are crafted by producers Adrian Younge and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of the legendary group A Tribe Called Quest. (R.I.P. Phife Dawg) If that doesn’t sell you, the cameos will.
At the end of the day, Luke Cage is a Black man first, bulletproof second. He doesn’t wear a mask or superhero suit. In the 70’s Cage wore a yellow
disco shirt, jeans, boots, iron cuffs and a headband. Today’s attire is jeans, t-shirts, and hoodies. This is the daily uniform of a Black men in America. However, the villainous stereotype of Black men wearing hoodies has led to many untimely, unwarranted, heinous deaths.
Luke Cage is Black Lives Matter. He fights for injustice and equality. In Season 1, he dons a gray hoodie for Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and other Black men unfairly targeted and killed. In a surrendering position with
his hands up, Cage too has been shot at. Despite this atrocity, Cage remains a hero. The visual of hoodies with bullet holes is very common in Black society yet, we still have to fight. “This burden is bigger than you or me. People are scared. But, they can’t be paralyzed by fear. You have to fight for what’s right every single day, bulletproof skin or not. When did people stop caring?“ – Luke Cage
This series encourages constructive dialogue within Black culture. Luke Cage doesn’t like the N-word. It doesn’t matter if it’s used in hate, slang or term of endearment. Do NOT call him a nigga. Most people understand the sentiment regarding Non-Black people using the word. Apropos to many of Western civilized thinking, the use of nigga/er is not accepted between Black
people. It doesn’t matter the age, gender, or social class.
Marvel’s Luke Cage is the most “woke” series on television. It possesses shades of America mirrored through the eyes of Black people. It is creative, fun, endearing, entertaining, and thought-provoking. Luke Cage represents hip-hop, blaxploitation, and real life societal issues America needs to come to grips with. I am not Luke Cage. I am not bullet proof but the burden of being a Black man in America is on me every day. I should not walk in fear for wearing a hoodie and neither should you. Comics have been instrumental in addressing current worldly conditions and problems. We can all take a page out of Luke Cage in the fight for what is right. Marvel’s Luke Cage available now on Netflix.
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