I have a question for all the die-hard comic book fans out there: What is the most popular TV series on Netflix based off a popular comic book character created in the early 1970s? If you guessed Luke Cage, then you are correct.
Luke Cage has become one of the few comic book characters that serves as a great role model for black people. One thing that I enjoy about the series is that the Luke Cage character inspires black people to continue seeking truth and justice in an unjust, racist society. It touches on racial, social, and political issues that continue to affect the plight of black people in this country. I view him as a strong black man that stands on his morals during times of conflict. He represents the epitome of manhood in the 21st century during a time when the black man continues to become emasculated on television. As a young black man, he is a great model for my generation because we need to see more positive images of black men that are hardworking and care about protecting their community.
For example, one scene that resonated with me the most was when Luke Cage got held up during the night by another ignorant young black man while standing behind the Crispus Attucks Memorial. Crispus Attucks was the first black man to die in the Revolutionary War. This is important to me because black people are quick to identify each other as niggas and bitches instead of gods and goddesses. If black people took the necessary time to learn about their true history, then we would become a force to be reckoned with. Luke Cage acknowledged to the younger guy that he does not like to be called that word. Our ancestors fought and died for us to gain certain rights in this country that we continue to take for granted. Watch the Youtube video from a scene during Season 1, Episode 2 below:
Some of these rights include learning how to read, write, and attending school to receive a good quality education. Unfortunately, we do not understand that our words and thoughts reflect our reality. Having a positive outlook on life and strong determination can help us overcome any obstacle that stands in our way. I strongly feel that Luke Cage has knowledge of self and refuses to let anyone stop him from accomplishing his goal. As a people, we need to study our own history and pass it on to our children. This is the only way that we will prosper and take back control of our destiny.
Harlem plays a significant role in this series due to its historical significance. It gave birth to the Harlem Renaissance and world-famous Apollo Theater allowing black performers to express themselves through various forms of the arts such as music, dance, and poetry. Another example is when Alfre Woodard’s character Mariah Dillard, which is loosely based on the Black Mariah character in the comic book, plans to create the Crispus Attucks Complex through her own political power by any means necessary with hopes of revitalizing the city for future generations. In the series, she believes that Harlem was and still is the black mecca of America if black people are willing to preserve their history. It is true that people make up the backbone of any community. Without the people, no community would exist.
Therefore, Luke Cage has good intentions of making Harlem a safer place for people to live and thrive in. Watch the Youtube video below for more information about Harlem’s influence on Luke Cage and his ability to make a difference on the lives of others:
Black people are the great creators of civilization and have the willpower to accomplish anything that they set their mind to. Also, Luke Cage’s character shows the younger generation that they can be smart while remaining cool among their peers inside and outside of school.
Hopefully, this series will motivate future writers to continue thinking outside the box and create original ideas that black people can relate to in their daily lives.