Daily Archives: April 6, 2010

Black Like Who?

Want to know something about your friendly neighborhood Agent of M.E? (The good folks at M.E. and myself are still working on and appropriate answer as to what M.E. actually stands for so just sit tight. Feel free to send in suggestions to the home office. We at M.E. are found of suggestions.) I love a good character-driven story. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s a hour-long television drama, a comic book, a short story, or a full length novel I’ve always thought a dynamic character or five can make a good story “real” for me.

Being a black man I’m also drawn to characters who I have things in common with. Hopefully the characters are well written and multidimensional. It doesn’t matter to me if it’s Det. Lydia Adams, Luke Cage, Ororo Munroe, Easy Rawlins, Jonas Blane, Madea, Derek Strange, or Miranda Bailey I love pulling for black characters. Those are only a few of my favorite fictional brothers and sisters, but I have a few favorites that have made me wonder from time to time: What if________ was black?

So after thinking about if for a while here are a few of my favorites who have tons of “black characteristics, but aren’t black. Feel free to add your own, but you have to explain exactly what about that character would make them seem black to you.

Peter Parker aka Spider-Man

Potential claims to blackness: (Fun fact Potential Claims to Blackness was the original name of a gospel group I used to be in. True story.)

  • Much like the President Peter Parker was raised by two elderly relatives Aunt May and Uncle Ben after his parents meet an untimely death on the job. Ill-suited for  the job the Parkers step up and begin to raise Peter the best they can.
  • Due to the murder of his Uncle Ben, Peter finds himself in a single-parent home with fixed finances.
  • The normal stress of being a teenage is multiplied by the fact that he’s a superhero struggling to protect the entirety of New York City as well as his loved ones. Sometimes he’s successful. Sometimes he isn’t.
  • Like many young black men he covers his mental anguish with cynicism, sh*t talking, and being an all around smart a** who is secretly struggling to hold it together.
  • Lacking a father figure as an adult Peter pulls his ultimate black man move. He pieces a father figure together from what he has lying around. He develops sound and unsound relationships with a series of men who are more so uncle figures than father figures. There’s the book smart, practical uncle Reed Richards. The supportive uncle Robbie Robertson. The morally upright and wise uncle Steve Rogers. Finally, you have the cranky, morally flawed, alcoholic uncle James Howlett. Each of these men, vastly different have always instructed Peter, to do what’s right.

 If Spidey’s real name was Jerome he’d be a brother.

Sarah Connor from the Terminator series

 

 

 

 

 

 

Potential claims to blackness:

  • Relatively young mother trying to raise a teenage boy into a man but has no clue as to how to succeed at it so she does the best she can.
  • She must constantly protect her family from enemies that are known and unknown.
  • The governor of California and Johnny Cash’s father both have tried to kill her and everyone she loves from time to time.
  • Due to a string of unhealthy relationships, Sarah Connor cannot bring herself to trust many men who may enter her life. Even those willing to help.
  • Like Peter Parker, large amounts of stress has caused severe mental health issues.
  • Extremely protective of her son John around female suitors.
  • Finally, if you screw with her or her family she’ll dead you.

Like many young, black single mothers in the world Sarah Connor is faces and uphill battle.

Bruce Banner, the Incredible Hulk

Potential claims to blackness:

  • He’s the ultimate angry black man green man personified.
  • When he’s Bruce Banner he’s got a ton of daddy issues to work out. When he’s the Hulk he literally has a ton of daddy issues to work out.
  • Like many black men one of the sure-fire ways to calm us down is to call our significant other. When Hulk smashes it’s a wise bet to have his wife Betty on speed dial. If not furniture will be moved great distances.
  • Viewed by many in the public eye as a complete monster, the Hulk like many a black man in his stay in the diaspora is often called upon to help out when the sh*t the fan. As much as he is hated Old Jade Jaws show up every time.

 

 

 

Angus MacGyver

 

Potential claims to blackness:

  • Duct tape game proper. You know what’s up.
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