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‘Luke Cage’ Lauded for Handling of Race Relations in America

“Luke Cage” was such a hit with fans this weekend that Netflix actually crashed. On Saturday, Netflix tweeted that it was working to fix the problem, which the streaming service eventually did.

With “Cage” back up and running, fans tuned into a different kind of Marvel show, featuring one of the comic book company’s first black superheroes, dating back to 1972.

Minor Spoilers Ahead

The series focuses on a bullet-proof, black superhero (played by Mike Colter), hiding in Harlem and trying to shake off an earlier part of his life.

We won’t ruin the show if you haven’t seen it, but there are homages to Black Lives Matter, “hands up, don’t shoot,” Trayvon Martin and more.

It’s all done in a positive, digestible manner, with Cage usually inspiring the community to rally behind him, an innocent man trying to right some wrongs. But as all Marvel’s superheroes have to find their way at first, learning to navigate their new-found powers, so does Cage, who is reluctant at first about being a beacon of hope.

Cage not only goes head-to-head with local drug kingpins and killers, he also clashes with the police on how to handle cleaning up Harlem.

“The issue of police-­community relations is central to this show. Simone Missick plays Misty Knight, one of Marvel’s few black female heroes. A by-the-book cop, Misty clashes with vigilante Luke about the best way to dole out justice,” Time magazine wrote in a column about the show.

Misty Knight is the best. #mistysolit #SweetChristmas pic.twitter.com/sDGpp2iD3q

The show very much reflects the real world and lives in the grey.

“It’s not just Cage’s superhuman abilities that make him the best man for protecting Harlem and its people from nefarious forces. His deep understanding of black history and cultural achievements is just as critical as his Kevlar-like skin, and he deploys that knowledge as strategically as his foes deploy spies and assassins,” the Los Angeles Times’ Lorraine Ali writes.

“Cage is as much about defending his Harlem neighborhood from bad guys on both sides of the law as he is about explaining why Harlem and its culture are worth defending,” Ali adds.

Vox’s Alex Abad-Santos adds, “the series explores the vulnerability of black lives to make an important point about its extraordinary man with indestructible skin.”

There’s a slew of other journalists and writers that have taken the same angle, praising the show for the spin it has taken on race relations, much like ABC’s “Black-ish,” when it aired a police brutality episode in February, that added humor to a serious subject. “Black-ish’s” episode “Hope” was true to itself and the show’s stars like Anthony Anderson, while making the tough topic understandable for youth in America.

“Cage” is a more adult take on similar subjects, and fans have taken to social media to rave about the choices made by creator Cheo Hodari Coker and stars like Colter, Missick and more.

Whoa a show that mourns the deaths of its Black characters instead of forgetting them or using them as pure plot device! Thank you @LukeCage

Finished Luke Cage. Need more in my life already. pic.twitter.com/vfsmFMIV6l

Many wrote similar sentiments, calling “Cage” the superhero America needs now.

I think every African American should watch episode 12 of @LukeCage . It’s such a powerful episode. Hell, it’s a powerful show.

Must. Go. To. Bed. I was supposed to stop @LukeCage at episode 3. Sidenote: SO AWESOME @SimoneMissick also is a native Detroiter. #313

Luke Cage isn’t just about a bulletproof black man. It’s also a story about the fragility of black life. https://t.co/UO8FnaFXX7

Dear @SimoneMissick I love every thing about your portrayal of Misty Knight, kudos my love! Keep shining with dogged talent! @LukeCage

Halfway through LUKE CAGE and it’s excellent so far. pic.twitter.com/tUEEx7yvUh

LaTanya Richardson in @LukeCage is an old school crime boss matriarch! Tony Ray of FAME (Leroy) his mother was that kind of woman #Boss

I have to stop and thank @cheo_coker for the amazing work on @LukeCage. I mean it’s amazing.

We told you all you weren’t READY!@LukeCage is the TRUTH

Let the BINGE continue!!!!!

#Shades ??

In addition to the themes and the acting, fans couldn’t get enough of the music — Wu-Tang, Method Man, Nina Simone and more.

the music in @LukeCage is MARVELOUSLY brilliant…. @AdrianYounge @AliShaheed @RaphaelSaadiq …. you nailed it!

Got a story to tell. #LukeCage pic.twitter.com/RQXNzd1puX

(originally from here)

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