Given the amount of salty white tears on Twitter about the inherent blackness of Netflix’s new series, Luke Cage, I am not going to add another white voice to the critical or analytic chorus right now. This is television by black people, about black people, why would I resent the idea that it is – first and foremost – for black people? And that I would learn something by listening rather than talking right now.
So, here is a list of talented people of colour writing about Luke Cage, and current black superheroes more widely. Happy Black History Month.
Black Girl Nerds
These excellent women organise Twitter watch-alongs, write up a comment piece on every episode, and have a podcast full of lively discussion and nerd news. I linked to the Luke Cage content, but explore it all!
Luke Cage’s Unapologetic And Certified Blackness
Yusuf Khan, at The Shadow League, celebrates the show’s approach to race
The Luke Cage Syllabus
Tara Betts, at BlackNerdProblems, singles out every book written by a black author seen on screen in Luke Cage, also noting other key cultural references in the show from music, history etc
Luke Cage, Black Conservative
Justin Charity, at The Ringer, is not impressed by Luke’s respectability politics
Luke Cage: A Bulletproof Black Man in the #BlackLivesMatter Era
Joshua Adams considers the series in the light of real-world gun violence and police brutality that kills black men, for ColourLines.
Real Talk About How Luke Cage Uses Blackness
A round table discussion from Evan Narcisse, Cheryl Lynn Eaton, and David Brothers, on io9.
The return of the Black Panther
Ta Nehisi Coates, in The Atlantic, writes about his approach to creating the new run of Black Panther for Marvel
Ta-Nehisi Coates Explains How He’s Turning Black Panther Into a Superhero Again
Q & A between Evan Narcisse of io9, and Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose new run of Black Panther has been one of the year’s biggest selling comic books.
Queer, powerful women are the heart of the new ‘Black Panther’
Charles Pulliam-Moore at Fusion on intersectional identity in Black Panther comics.
Feminist Writer Roxane Gay and Poet Yona Harvey to Write New World of Wakanda Title For Marvel
Teresa Jusino writes a brief intro, at The Mary Sue, about the next authors in line for a Black Panther comic
Sorry, Peter Parker, But Miles Morales Is The Better (Young) Spidey
Evan Narcisse on the next generation of Spidermen, for Kotaku
Superpower vs Supernatural: Black Superheroes and the Quest for a Mutant Reality
Anna Beatrice Scott, formerly of University of California, discusses the construction of ‘realism’ in racial terms in US society
Super Black: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes
Adilifu Nama’s book is available to preview on Googlebooks, as linked, and available in paperback as well as ebook.
Wearing Hero-Face: Black Citizens and Melancholic Patriotism in Truth: Red, White, and Black
Rebecca Wanso’s article, on the Captain America run referenced, is behind a paywall, sadly. I’ll loan you my copy to read, if you ask.
It is, unsurprisingly, hard to find a lot of black scholarship on these topics – often articles and books on race and racism in comics are published by white authors. It’s even harder to find accessible material, not behind a paywall. But for all things black supes related, there is always the World of Black Heroes and Africomics websites.