I like U2.
Seriously I do. I think they’re a talented group and they’ve produced some amazing songs over the years.
I also appreciate their commitment to social justice and equal rights.
Your mileage may vary.
I swear I’m not hating. This new song Ordinary Love. I like it. It’s actually a cool track. But there is something seriously unsettling about the fact that the two last awards shows I was essentially forced to watch (F-U Golden Globes and Oscars I hate you both), I saw Nelson Mandela’s legacy (a freedom fighter who took arms to battle oppression) be reduced to essentially a feel-good Kumbaya song for white people and Mandela and for that matter Idris Elba’s portrayal be erased from the equation.
I’m not even blaming U2 for this. I have no reason to believe their intent and actions weren’t sincere but this reaction from society is par for the course when it comes to white supremacy and institutional oppression.
File this post under, Another Reason Why Dwayne McDuffie Was Better Than You.
So last week we all celebrated the life and legacy of one of the most gifted and progressive storytellers, ever to walk this earth, the late Dwayne McDuffie.
As expected, many discussed the amazing work he and his team did with making Milestone Comics a success, others mentioned his phenomenal work with fellow phenom Bruce Timm with creating over a decade of superb animated series and films.
Of course people pointed out that McDuffie paved the way for black storytellers in a way too vanillacentric medium that is the comic book industry.
While this is all true. It is not the whole story. To not tell the whole story diminishes the work and the accomplishments of this great man.
This bothers me because when it comes to PoCs who campaign for equal rights, we often get shortchanged. At most, we’re credited for “helping end racism.” We’re rarely (if ever) credited for getting intersectionality. For instance, the late Coretta Scott King is rarely credited for being an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights. Her husband Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. tackled racism, and classism, and unlike most whites didn’t try to conflate that latter to negate the former.
Huey Newton, the founder of the Black Panthers, wrote a letter encouraging us all to not only embrace feminism and our LGBTQ siblings but to do some serious internal soul-searching and tackle our internalized misogyny and homophobia. Intersectionality is something Truth literally spoke on. Truth by way of Sojourner when she asked, Ain’t I A Woman? You see most PoCs aren’t fighting to reattain privilege and get a seat at the oppressor’s table like we see too often with privileged white fauxial justice blowhards. We are actually fighting for equality, not out of self interest but because it is the right thing to do.
Long before social justice became the hobby of spoiled entitled white kids on Tumblr, McDuffie, and for that matter Timm and the rest of the Milestone crew were in the trenches, fighting for diversity. Yes Milestone introduced the world to some amazing black superheroes but Milestone also introduced the world to some other amazing superheroes of color such as Blitzen and Iron Butterfly. Not only that but McDuffie gave the world gay and trans protagonists such as Gear and Marissa Rahms. McDuffie brilliantly flipped the superhero sidekick paradigm in allowing a young woman to inspire one of the world’s greatest superheroes. For you see there would have been no Icon, if it hadn’t been for Rocket.
This incredible, beautiful, brilliant black man did all of this because he believed that everyone deserved a hero or heroine.
And to think this gifted soul got fired from DC, who later in turn hired and embraced Orson Scott Card with open arms, it’s almost too much to stomach.
Nevertheless, many of us continue to fight on in his honor.
In any event, McDuffie’s legacy can never be denied, any of it. And for all of the work he’s done, all I can simply say is “Thank you” and “God bless.”
Over on Nashville Geek Life, I continue my new series entitled Character Study and celebrating Black History Month by discussing the journey, characterization, and reception of my favorite Doktah. Of course I would be talking about the one and only Dr. Martha Jones.
Oh yes, I go there.
The Doctor is in.
Over on Latin Negro, yours truly has a guest post discussing how a storyteller’s inspiration can often come in the unlikeliest of forms.
I won’t lie, this is probably one of my favorite pieces I’ve penned this year.
So over on Nashville Geek Life, I’ve launched a new series called Character Study. Essentially I provide an analysis about a character in spec fic and explain what makes them unique and interesting.
With February being Black History Month, I wanted the inaugural post to focus on a character who personifies #BlackExcellence. A Big Damn Heroine. A cowgirl by the name of Zoe Washburne, portrayed by the Goddess known as Gina Torres, perfection herself.
Congratulations, Colton on the CW series Arrow getting a 3rd season. Here’s hoping your character Roy gets killed off or gets recast with an actor who doesn’t engage in blackface…..TWICE.
One would think as a queer male, you would at least show some modicum of decency towards other minorities. But herein lies white privilege and this is a reminder why gay will never be the new black…or brown or red or yellow.
And to think of all those kids, black and Indian specifically. I wonder how they’re going to feel when they learn that one of their favorite actors who portrays one of their favorite superheroes is nothing more than another not-so-closeted white supremacist.
Congratulations to Janet Mock, whose debut title Redefining Realness just made the New York Time’s Best Seller List.
This is a huge win, and a well-earned one after this past week; Ms Mock has been the target of a vicious slander campaign after calling out Piers Morgan on his racist transmisogyny. This win is not only for Ms. Mock but also her trans family and the SGL peeps.
Monica Roberts shares her thoughts, (along with a few other “familiar” folks) on this incredible victory.
ETA: HOLY CRIPES THIS IS MY 200TH POST FOR ARS MARGINAL!!!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO. HERE’S TO MANY MORE!!!!!!!
My good buddy and fellow art school survivor Carrie Tupper shares her experiences working on a progressive and diverse animated series:
A definite must read:
When I think about having a discussion about comic books, I know that I just don’t stop at the books themselves. The conversation can easily turn into a debate about animation as well. Often times comic books are the inspiration for animation. In either case, diversity is always an issue. Next up on the guest blogger list: Carrie Tupper.
“You’ve got a pretty colorful crowd here. Did you check off a list or something?”
“Where are all the white people?”
This is a pretty normal response we get when people see our pitch for Kamikaze, a TV show concept that my husband, Alan and I created. See, the majority of our characters aren’t white. In fact, our core cast only has one white person in it, who also happens to be female (but that’s another discussion entirely). Because of this lack of white people we sometimes get ‘The Rainbow…
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