Tag Archives: Griot Enterprises

The Bigot Confessions

Hello, everyone.

My name is Jiba Molei Anderson… And I am a bigot.

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This is how I express my bigotry…

http://www.tmz.com/2017/06/10/hot-teacher-erin-mcauliffe-charged-sex-with-high-school-boys/

Check the headline.

Now, keep this mind (especially for those sitting in the back of the auditorium)…

Black men and women who were murdered by police for doing nothing but being, well, Black (i.e. Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland and the yet to be murdered Black person because it’s not Monday) are vilified as the media digs deep for any past transgression like, say for instance, jaywalking.

Yet, this heifer, who was caught in no less than three acts of statutory rape, is called hot? As if her attractiveness (which is mad questionable BTW… Love that #Pathology) makes her crime more palatable?

Yeah… Call me a bigot all day, every day. I’d rather be this kind of bigot than a hypocritical sycophant any day…

Oh, here is another example of my bigotry…

http://forward.com/culture/film-tv/373950/why-do-white-people-get-mad-when-we-call-wonder-woman-white/

Now; this was the article where I was called out for my bigotry.

gal-gadot-as-wonder-woman
Damn fine movie. This is the direction the DCEU should have taken from jump and Gal Gadot wears the tiara well…

I looked over the initial post again… The #Sensitive really got all in a tizzy because I said Gal Gadot was white while others have been trying to make her the Hollywood Rachel Dolezal because she is Israeli… And I said that it was ok for Gal Gadot to be white…

Damn… I didn’t know that saying it’s ok to be white was so racist

What I have found since I started posting this material in 2013, is how deep this #Pathology goes and how fervent people are willing to defend this toxic ideology (so much so that people voted for the absolute worst candidate in the 20th/21st century in 2016).

lil donnie
Lil’ Donnie by Mike Norton

The information is out there. The statistics exist for anyone to obtain. You don’t even have to really search for it. Hell, all I do is share information that other people post on their walls.

The reality is that this information completely dismantles the rhetoric that people have been spoon fed for centuries. It completely destroys the illusion of the inherent goodness that the #Pathology promotes. It’s all a lie, the ultimate Ponzi scheme, if you will. But, because of the fact that the majority of the world is brown and that brownness is overtaking the safe spaces and that brownness, with other marginalized voices actively rejecting the #Pathology, the “dominant” culture is real nervous.

They read the articles, hear the voices of critique and feel that; somehow, they are experiencing racism…

They couldn’t handle what real racism is.

Racism is the power to make policy based on prejudice. The only people who have, and exercised that “power,” is the “dominant” culture (AKA white culture). When one can produce evidence that marginalized people (i.e. Black, Latinix, Asian, LGBTQ, etc.) have held positions of power in this country to create legislation that is detrimental to others (AKA white people), then we can talk anti-white racism. Until then, marginalized people can only practice prejudice, which results in hurt feelings and, perhaps, individual agony…

The United States was founded on racism, built by racism and still feels it must operate under a racist paradigm (especially with this administration). Facts.

And that is the thing that they are most scared of, that the sins of the father will revisit them tenfold.

So, they lash out. They find spaces like mine to reclaim some sort of supremacy for themselves as if to say, “If I can shut this guy up, then I’m right and things can go back to ‘normal’.” They use the false information they’ve digested as fact assuming that someone like myself (read: Black) doesn’t know any better…

And, they get really mad when it doesn’t work.

Three The Hard Way
With the Black Panther coming in 2018 (that trailer, yo!), the Trinity of Peak Blackness is complete…

Engaging in conversation and making “flame” arguments are two different things. Every single thing I post is to puncture the hypocrisy of the racist, sexist, homophobic, etc. narrative that we have been spoon-fed. Interestingly enough, pointing out this hypocrisy makes me the very thing I rail against?

Eff. That. Noise.

I don’t have to pull out any disclaimers about my intentions because, if you truly know me, you know where I’m coming from. I’m not going to sugar coat it, I’m going to be brutally honest. This is the work I do. It’s the work I’ve always done. I do not pray to the #Pathology of whiteness. I don’t believe in false prophets.

Because of this do I hate Euro-Americans or others of European descent? Not even. However, I’m not gonna sit and get pissed on while fools try to tell me it’s raining either.

Fun fact: I don’t troll other people’s walls with my viewpoints. Folks always wanna say something on my wall when they get #Sensitive about things that I point out…

Why is that?

Yeah, addressing this willful ignorance is tiring and disappointing. But, if what I do enlightens one, just one, person to take a step back and change their thinking, then I’ve done my job.

I mean, isn’t that what teachers are supposed to do?

www.griotenterprises.com

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A Tribute

So, yeah…

It’s been almost a year since my last post…

What can I say? I’ve been busy…

No, that’s not the total truth. The truth is that so many of the things have happened in the past almost-year I’ve written about before…

“But what about Hidden Figures? What about Get Out? What about the #45thRegime? What about Wonder Woman…”

Yo, there have been so many think pieces about all of that, and more, I felt that I would just be adding noise to the ether, especially when so many of those pieces touched on themes I would touch on but in, some cases, a more eloquent way.

Then, Friday happened.

Here’s my response to that. Art and words by yours truly…

JoyAndPain(Web)
My two favorite heroes from the Corporate Two

I will be giving you more of what (I hope) you remember me for soon and frequently. For the New Jacks checking this out for the first time, welcome.

http://www.griotenterprises.com

Fear of the Black Hero Pt. 4: The Blacklash

the-trump-presidency
So, we have a new president… Lord, help us all…

The people I’ve found most shocked about the outcome of Election 2016 are white people.

If I were being completely honest with myself, (and those of you who follow my wall) this backlash and increased terrorism against POC, LGBTQ and other marginalized groups, protests included, would have happened even if Hillary Clinton won the election (yes, the Electoral College).

As much as people want to claim (public figures, private figures and everyone in between) that this election wasn’t about a response to the other, some of us need to stop denying the truth of this.

I’ve been working the idea (and speaking about it) that the most-maligned “minority” in this country is the poor and working white class.

In some ways, the false construction of race has really given them the short end of the stick from fighting in the Civil War for rich plantation owners (to keep their slaves, not states rights) until now. They are ignored and ridiculed by their own. They are the neglected children of the country, and a pathology, that they love so dearly.

To further the insult, to some, those that they were taught are lesser than them because of hue or orientation or gender are celebrated, called heroes and role models, when those other people rise from the same miserable conditions they have been forced to endure due to loss of industry, environmental distress, social depression and more.

This is a very hollow victory for them… Especially as the ones who may not be racist, misogynistic, etc. are lumped into the same group of others who look like them. Now, they must hide their thoughts and beliefs, fundamental aspects of who they are, from others lest they be stereotyped and lumped in with the dysfunctional members of their tribe. They have to pass as someone else in order to get through the day…

It’s kinda like what People Of Color have been facing since the beginning on this country.

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The Hate that Hate made…

Don’t get me wrong… POC, LGBTQ and other marginalized groups are extremely frightened about what just happened.

However, we pretty much knew it was coming. In particular, African Americans, First Nation and Latinix Americans were shocked, but not surprised at what happened the night of Election 2016… At all. Literally for us, with Sandra Bland, voter suppression, NoDAPL, “Build That Wall” and so many other things we have dealt with not just this year, but from time, Tuesday night was just another day in the sense of dreams deferred and denied.

Here’s the thing: we POC always knew that stakes were high. And, that this very real danger is not surprising. The past couple years, decades, centuries of terrorism have got us activated and prepared.

Still, though I may understand, things were said in this campaign that cannot be brushed aside. History cannot be taken back nor rewritten as much as people try to. Fools keep reaching for that imaginary carrot of White Privilege (really Class Privilege) like Charlie Brown keeps trying to kick that ball only to have the football snatched from them again and again…

For that, there is no sympathy, no understanding.

Because it is the pursuit of privilege that perpetuated slavery, created Jim CrowSegregation, destroyed Black Wall Street, invented Redlining, created COINTELPRO and started the War on Drugs to name a few of the pursuit’s outcomes. That pursuit of privilege ends the lives of Black and Brown folk without compunction far too early and blames the victim for being victimized. It has destroyed empathy and compassion.

fired-up
The time for words has passed… Gotta put that work in…

No, this is the Come to Jesus moment, another example of a long overdue dismantling of some fundamental lies. Now, white folks need to have a discussion with each other to reconcile these issues.

This existential crisis is that community’s cross to bear. They need to own it. They shouldn’t deny the conflict that some may be wrestling with in their hearts and minds. They need to feel that pain…

…because on the other side of that pain is understanding and compassion.

People need to take a good long look in the mirror and really accept some hard truths if there’s going to be any sincere and lasting change…

Creating a totem out of something that one can find in their junk drawer is not nearly enough.

bounce-pin
That safety pin on your lapel has many uses…

And, it is not our job as POC or any other maligned group to understand and try reach out because we already have… Repeatedly… And, we yet to be heard.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow, but it’s a true one. I know people are hurting, disillusioned, frightened and angry. I know I am. But, in these times, there needs to be a moment of self-reflection and the acceptance of these ugly truths before one can truly change their state of mind in planning for future action.

BTW, for those who honestly put the work in, you know this ain’t about you so there should be no reason to get in a huff. This isn’t about blame, but about facts…

Change never comes easy. Progress never comes easy. And these things never come from the top down. Some of us have known this from jump.

For the rest of us… Let’s get to work.

http://www.griotenterprises.com

 

I’m On A Mission (Do What I Gotta)

This post is dedicated to the memories, family and friends of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, Lorne Aherns, Michael Krol, Michael J. Smith, Brent Thompson and Patrick Zamarripa.

I need to share this with y’all… Especially those of you who still feel the need to question what I post and the veracity of what it’s like to be a Black man in America.

I grew up on the West Side of Detroit. Now, despite what some of you may think or heard about the 313, I can tell you for a fact that I felt safer in the “D” than I ever did going out to the ‘burbs. Why? Because of the color of my skin.

I remember one evening when my brother and I were heading back to the city from, I think, West Bloomfield. We’re waiting at a light when this group of white dudes in the car next to rolled up and in a brief moment of supposed bravery had the courage to yell nigger to us as the light changed and they very quickly sped off as if a car of five white dudes were afraid to catch the wrath of two Black dudes.

It’s real out here. Knock on wood, every encounter I’ve had with the police has been without incident, but that’s because my mom gave me The Talk in high school. And, best believe that in every said encounter (wasn’t that many, but all it takes is one time), I was worried because I knew that every encounter was a crapshoot. Man, I even got pulled over in Walled Lake, Michigan a few years ago when I was in a relationship with a woman whose parents lived there for little reason other than… Well, fill in the blank.

Luckily, the cops I encountered had cool heads, in part, because my mom gave me The Talk and my outwardly calm and agreeable demeanor aided in neutralizing what could have easily been a tragic situation . But best believe, I was well aware that things could always go left…

The Talk
Two very different versions of “The Talk”

This is a small taste of what it’s like to be a brother in the U.S. I’m one of the lucky ones. Too many of us are not.

That shouldn’t be the case and I shouldn’t have to say this unfortunate truth.

This isn’t an abstract intellectual debate. Shit is real out here. No matter how many degrees you have or what you wear, in this dark skin, there is a permanent target on your back in these United States of America… Realest talk.

They call us racist because we remind them of the racism that exists every day. They call us racist because we pull the blinders away from their eyes every day. They call us racist because we force them to acknowledge that what they live are the lives of slaves trapped in mental shackles.

But, people need to know these real stories. They need to read what’s it’s truly like to be a Person Of Color in this country. They need their noses rubbed in the shit that we have to endure every day, even those of us who are not in the more concentrated areas of this oppression. We still live in this state of hyper awareness that at any moment, any wrong turn, we could become another name that people are told to remember due to this disgusting pathology.

As you can read, the past few days have been really tough. Honestly, the past few years have been extremely difficult to deal with. My spirit has been sorely tested, damn near beaten to the ground. A rage has been building inside of me, poisoning my soul and corrupting my mind. The battle that I have been fighting had almost destroyed the love that I had for myself and the love I have for others.

And then I went to the 9:30 service at Soul City Church. I was in a space where our pastor, Jarrett Stevens, addressed these trying times honestly and unabashedly, bringing another member of our church, Reverend Chris Griffin, up to the stage to give his testimony as a Black man, born in 1963, who was a young boy during the riots shortly after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, who after nearly 50 years of that tragedy saw the same injustices against our people play out again. These men of God gave us, a truly diverse congregation (something that is, unfortunately, rare in places of worship), and a space to lament.

In this space, I did something I rarely ever do…

I wept.

I let myself feel the pain of this moment in time. I looked into my own heart and faced the anger that was poisoning my mind and affecting my soul. I was able to cleanse myself of all of this toxic pain and rage…

And then, God spoke to me. And God reminded me of my mission, my gifting and my ministry.

Now, I understand that this post will take some of my readers aback as I have never spoke about my spirituality before…

Or, so it seems.

But, let me let you in on a little secret…

Comics are my ministry.

HorsemenOlorunMeme
My purpose on this planet…

Peep game: The Horsemen is so much more than just a graphic novel series with, hopefully, a cool group of Black superheroes fighting bad guys. It’s my manifesto. It is my diatribe against the injustice I see every day (i.e. racism, sexism, homophobia, etc.). The mission statement for The Horsemen is this:

They have come to save Humanity… Whether we want them to, or not. For who controls the Eight Immortals but the number seven.

The Horsemen’s logo is an adaptation of the Andikra symbol known as the Gye Nyame, which translates to, But for the grace of God.

The Horsemen, you see, is a blessed book.

I said it before: The Horsemen would never exist at DC or Marvel. It can’t. The Horsemen exists to serve a higher purpose. The Horsemen is my space to explore and critique the miasma of bullshit we, as human beings, subject ourselves to every day that keep us separated from a deeper understanding of ourselves and others.

PowerInTheHourOfChaos
Power in the hour of chaos…

Finally, I saw this photo posted over the weekend of nurse and mother 28-year-old Ieshia Evans facing off against a group of police officers in Baton Rouge.

This is how I see this photo:

Notice that the sister stands tall and proud in the face of injustice.

Notice how her strength is too much for the oppressor to handle.

Notice how they are being pushed back with the power of her righteous indignation.

Notice how that Blue line stands in the distance afraid to approach her for fear of being pushed back as well…

That is what I see in this photo…

The power of the righteous dispelling fear and hate.

This is what I do, fam. I work my passion and use the gifts that the Most High gave me in order to fight for a better day for all people. Remember when I wrote that everything I make is Protest Art? Well, now you know why.

Y’all may think I’m crazy, but I need to change the narrative within myself if I am going to change the narrative within others

They gon’ wake up one day…

Peace

http://www.griotenterprises.com

 

 

Fear of the Black Hero Pt. 3: The Battle Ahead

 

Morpheous
Which pill did you take?

“The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you’re inside, you look around, what do you see? Businessmen, teachers, lawyers, carpenters. The very minds of the people we are trying to save. But until we do, these people are still a part of that system and that makes them our enemy. You have to understand, most of these people are not ready to be unplugged. And many of them are so inured, so hopelessly dependent on the system, that they will fight to protect it.”

 – Morpheus

This article is dedicated to the memory of two icons in African American, and American history, who have recently transitioned: Prince Rogers Nelson and Muhammad Ali.

This article is also dedicated to those of the LGBT community who lost their lives in the Pulse Nightclub Massacre in Orlando.

Finally, this article is dedicated to the young woman who did not receive justice from the American legal system in the Brock Turner Rape Trial.

Rage…

Privileged Rage.

Privileged White Rage…

Privileged White Male Rage…

Privileged Male Rage…

Rage.

Intersectional Stare

We have not seen this level of “insurrection,” blatant and widespread calls for sedition and overthrow of the government and staggering uptick of mass shootings, until President Obama took office. I had always said that with the election of President Barack Obama, the lie of America that many hold onto his presidency had dispelled, would not mean that America was post-racial, but instead would reveal the simmering toxicity that laid soup- skin thin under the surface.

It’s only getting crazier. With Hillary Clinton being the Democratic nominee, the hate is simply transferring from racism to sexism. The rise of Donald Trump illustrates that perfectly. You have people, an entire political party, throwing their lot with a man that they know is completely opposite of the ideals that they purport to uphold, a man that, if by some fatally ridiculous twist of fate becomes president, would totally decimate the United States domestically and abroad, simply because he is a white man.

That’s how real this pathology is. That’s how damaging the false caste system called race is.

superman-vs-muhammad-ali
Ali was so bad, he knocked out aliens… #TheGreatest

As someone who taught in at risk schools on the West Side of Chicago (i.e. the trenches), none of the security measures every staff member, faculty member, or student were lax. In fact, they were tighter than security at O’Hare Airport.

As a frequent club attendee in the cities of Detroit and Chicago and others, the security at a number of the clubs I went to was on point.

As someone who attended many, many movie theatres in the cities of Detroit and Chicago, I have never experienced doors being wedged open.

For all of the hypotheticals you put out there, I have had intimate experience with each one, which counters what you have stated.

Look, responsible gun owners would probably agree with me that we don’t need to be walking around with pistols on our hip like the Old West. Responsible gun owners would also probably agree that we have way too many guns in our society and that we need better, not tougher, laws on the books that make it harder for someone to purchase a gun than getting a driver’s license.

And, before you get into the argument of “who’ll stop the bad guys from getting guns,” as yourself this: whom are they buying the guns from and who are manufacturing these guns? Also, ask yourself this question: why, in the hell, do we need so many guns to feel “protected” in this country? Because, as we have seen, the amount of guns in this country have not made it any safer. In fact, the problem has again reached epidemic proportions.

Yes, violent people will do violent things. If it is in their heart to cause pain and havoc, they will do that. But, the availability of guns makes their ability to cause mayhem that much easier, that much more prolific, that much more damaging.

Realest talk, people of color did not create this mental illness. Neither did women, nor LGBT people nor those who have willingly immigrated to this country. And, until this disease is addressed, truly addressed with the cold, hard, brutal honest truth of what’s really going on, it’s only going to get worse.

I’m talking about the frequency of mass shootings and verbal calls for rising up against the government. Before Obama’s presidency, those incidents were few and far between, certainly with mass shootings, which now happen on an average of every 60 days. You know that it would be extremely easy to research those numbers to verify my point.

prince_pencils2_by_brohawk
America, America, keep the children free… #TheRevolution

The problem is this: if this country truly offered equal opportunities from its inception, then the arguments concerning the perceived notion of entitlements to marginalized groups would hold water. However, that has never been the case.

From, for example, African Americans being considered 3/4 of a human being to wage disparity, voting rights, right to marry (consider interracial marriage as well as same-sex marriage), redlining, etc., this country has a long way to go before anyone could say that marginalized communities have an unfair advantage over the dominant culture.

Think about this: Brown Vs. Board Of Education happened only 18 years before I was born. The Voting Rights Act of 1965 only 7 years before I was born (and that is under extreme attack right now). Roe v. Wade? One year after I was born. Marriage equality for LGBT? 2015. And all of these advances, as incremental as have been, are under constant attack on a daily basis.

Now, compare these recent advances time wise of only 61 years ago (both of my parents are older than these advances), with the centuries of disparity in this country (and let’s only focus on the United States for this as this is the country we live in now).

So the question is, has there even been enough time for these advances to truly take root in the American psyche without pushback to the point where those who have benefitted, directly or indirectly, can complain about preferential treatment?

the-bride-kill-bill-2003

What we have been seeing, brothers and sisters, from the tragedy of Orlando to the rise of Trump, to the bemoaning of those who benefited, either directly or indirectly, from a system that has denigrated the other for centuries (you know exactly who has been deemed “other”), from the nerd rage, white tears, homophobic/misogynistic hoteppery and so on, is the violent reaction of impotent people who have bought into the lies of a system never designed for them in the first place, but will protect that system even as humanity takes those painful, awkward steps to (hopefully) a new and better society.

What I liked when I saw the President’s address was that it was this dude who put it all into perspective. The way he addressed and assuaged the audience into order to get the Democrats, the Hillary supporters, the Bernie Bros back on the same page while slick-talk snappin’ on Trump was… Magical. Ashamedly triumphant and hopeful simply because we, as a country, haven’t heard that kind of message in a long, long time.

Is it just me, or sometimes when you hear President Obama speak, he’s kind of spittin’ bars like one of the greatest MCs ever to rock the mic?

Hillary smelled what Barack was cookin’, and so did Bernie. If you have those three together like the Mod Squad, bringing the Democrats into one common goal: Defeat Trump…

It’s gonna be an asswhuppin’ of epic proportion.

the-mod-squad
A  good teacher has to be a detective. He sees someone wasting it all, he better find out why…

But, that alone is not going to solve the underlying problem. This election cycle alone is not the war. It is merely a battle in an ongoing struggle that will take all of us to get into the trenches in order to defeat not a physical opponent nor a political one, but a mode of thought that has been in practice for centuries.

Those who’ve taken the red pill, keep fighting the good fight. For those who’ve taken the blue pill… Wake up…

http://www.griotenterprises.com

 

Man, This Wakandan Lemonade Is Delicious

The Black Panther keeps making waves in this comic book landscape.

Black_Panther_1_Sook_Variant
Get this money… Erryday, erryday, erryday…

http://www.bleedingcool.com/2016/05/13/black-panther-is-the-best-selling-comic-in-april-2016-as-marvel-march-on-marketshare-ahead-of-dc-rebirth/

Straight up, this is the Black nerd’s Lemonade right now.

For the first time in history, a comic book featuring an African superhero, written and illustrated by African Americans, is the highest-selling title from the Corporate Two. Yeah, having the character steal the show in the best comic-book related movie this year and a major marketing push definitely helped, but this is what happens when you #BetOnBlack

The Black Panther marketing plan should be taught in schools. It’s actually a pretty textbook marketing strategy. They got the right team, did the proper product placement and marketing and got a winner on their hands.

Furthermore, they respect the importance of the character that is in their stable, a character, which encapsulates the hopes and dreams of a marginalized demographic. They actually heard this fan base and gave the character its due respect, steeped this character in its culture (fictional, but based on an amalgam of existing cultures from the marginalized demographic) and gave this character the necessary agency this character, and the marginalized demographic it represents, deserves. Because of this, Marvel produced yet another profitable situation that they, and their parent company, will benefit from greatly. This bit of good will is, in fact, good business.

In short, Marvel created the climate in which the Black Panther could be Columbused. We are seeing the effects of this as I write these words.

This should be a call to arms of what happens when you produce a fantastic product and market a great property.

Too bad DC Entertainment wasn’t in class that day… If you’re in the minority that DC has kept it on point cinematically, read this article written by Verge Entertainment bigwig and former Milestone and Batman editor Joe Illidge:

batman_v_superman___dawn_of_justice___wonder_woman_by_goxiii-d9bmo30
Gurl… Once again, Man’s World is playing an Amazon close…

https://www.theshadowleague.com/articles/the-true-enemy-of-black-panther-and-wonder-woman

This information puts to bed a lot of superfluous “explanations” of why product featuring and created by people of color doesn’t sell. Independent creators should use this fact to push our products to the forefront…

Some people want to bring up Spawn as a counter to my statements. To that I say…

Whatever…

I am way more excited about this development than I ever was with the introduction of Spawn in the early 90s. In fact, if you wanna be real Image about it, I will always hype Tribe way more than Spawn as it was the first comic book featuring characters, and created by people of color, Todd Johnson and Larry Stroman, that sold over a million copies, which adjusted for inflation is on par with BP’s sales.

In other words, I’d rather celebrate the whole cake rather than just the frosting

This should be inspiring to a lot of us independent creators of color and we need to capitalize on the climate. In fact, a number of us are.

We have seen an increase in coverage concerning independent properties dealing with the discussion of diversity (i.e. Black, The Legend of the Mantamaji, Niobe: She Is Life, Watson and Holmes, Exo: The Legend of Wale Williams, Solarman, etc.) exactly because these cats had their marketing game down and went beyond the perceived market to find their audience.

solarman2
We got next…

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that these projects are expertly created (i.e. writing, art, etc.), but creating is the easy part. Marketing is where the work comes into play.

This is the kind of work we should continue to push and purchase in addition to showing love to the “Corporate Two” when they “get it right.” Way more than being a DC or Marvel fan, I’m a fan and practitioner of the art form.

Interesting times indeed.

So, let me know if you are interested in more than just enjoying this historic moment in representation. Let’s keep it going. Let this be more than just a moment. Let’s make this a fact of life.

Speaking of, I’m going to be teaching a course on this exact subject through the International School of Comics starting in July. Granted, this class will be in Chicago, but if there is enough interest, I would possibly take this bad smoker into the remote teaching realm.

BAMFCAd
Sign up for the class… You know you want to…

P.S. Personal note to the brothers Johnson and Stroman, c’mon fellas. We need to do a Tribe trade so that people can experience the loveliness that book was and can be again. Get at me.

http://www.griotenterprises.com

Promised Land

CivilWar_Punmagneto
Captain America: Civil War… A promise delivered…

Captain America: Civil War

It is very hard… very hard for me to give this kind of assessment. I’m tighter with ratings than The Source used to be. With that being said, this is a 5-mic film. Any criticism would be some extreme nit-pickiness bull-caca. Anyone fronting on this movie is a hater, plain and simple…

I feel those fans who find criticism complain about the what-iffery of certain elements in the film, great elements that bring color to the narrative, not coming to fruition even though they weren’t supposed to. A few points (SPOILER-ALERT):

1.) I appreciate that at the end of the day, the “Civil War” was a very personal conflict that dealt with the loss of families (Zemo’s, Stark’s & T’Challa’s)

2.) That Zemo, basically Bin Laden-style, did to the Avengers that Loki, Ultron and Hydra couldn’t do… Destroy them.

Tony Vs. America
A battle worse than anything the villains brought to the table…

3.) Because of the personal nature of the story, we didn’t need to see those other Winter Soldiers in action against our titular heroes. Then, it would have been Universal Soldier: Regeneration wasting the emotional currency, which drives the film.

4.) Storytelling was on point. Things followed through logically and I felt that all of the important elements in the film had organic conclusions. Even with Spider-Man’s inclusion at the eleventh hour didn’t feel tacked on and yes, just like Jon Bernthal made the Punisher his character, Tom Holland IS Peter Parker. And, I am a big fan of Marisa Tomei as a modern Aunt May. There were no plot holes.

5.) CW was a sequel for two movies, Captain America: Winter Soldier and the Avengers: Age of Ultron, and a fine one for both.

6.) Everything made sense. Everyone was true to character. Every character had their moment to shine. The battles were top-notch with each character’s physical language as unique as the character themselves.

7.) CW is the rare instance that the film was better than the mini-series… Yeah, I said it. Also, remember that Thor and the Hulk weren’t around during the mini-series either.

8.) Just the hint of the Dora Milaje, along with the taste of Wakanda was enough for me. I’m gonna get all that goodness in the Black Panther solo film.

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Strength and beauty, thy name is Dora Milaje…

9.) According to Dwayne McDuffie’s Rule of Three, this is the MCU’s Blackest movie to date… And it was so on point with the diversity and agency of Black folks from Alfre Woodard’s brief, but crucial scene, to War Machine, the Falcon and, of course… This is the rare movie I would pay full price to see again in the theatre… Immediately.

10.) The secret sauce in making this delicious meal is Nate Moore as Executive Producer for the MCU. Yes, the characters would have been there eventually, but having a brother as an exec. producer helped to ensure that said characters did not come off as stereotypical ciphers, but rather fully realized people making their ethnicity natural, yet crucial in the MCU.

Realize, there is no one representation of “Blackness” in the MCU, nor do we just add color to the background. From War Machine to the Falcon to BP to Nick Fury, etc., each character is unique, each character has agency, each character is authentically Black in their own way.

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Bow down to the King… Everyone else has…

Brother Moore has made sure that we haven’t been seen as a monolith, but in a rich tapestry more in line with how we really are as opposed to how the Other often portrays us.

These reasons, and more which I’ve mentioned in previous posts, is why not only is Captain America: Civil War a more satisfying film-going experience than Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, but also why Marvel has all but decimated the DCCU.

Quite simply, Marvel trusts and cares about their properties, DC does not. Marvel has been playing chess in unfolding their universe, taking time to craft their cinematic universe so that it has the same resonance as the comic book universe.

DC has been playing checkers, rushing product and blowing their wad repeatedly on half-baked measures which treat their properties as cash-grab ciphers rather than respecting the history and mythology of the characters to craft tales which speak to the human condition using the superhero as an analogy to inspire and make us seek out our better selves.

Here’s something to chew on: when people start writing think pieces on your film discussing the deeper ramifications of what your heroes represent in the larger world context rather than judging success or failure of your project based on how much money it makes, you’ve made a better film. When you respect not only your hard-core fanbase, but also can make your properties resonate with the casual viewer, you’ve made a better film. When you focus on storytelling rather than spectacle, you’ve made a better film. And, said film is steadily going to make a lot of money rather than suffering a near-90% drop in viewership the second week of release.

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So, who won the Civil War? Marvel did…

Personal point of order… A few years ago, I got caught up in a what-iffery tread about a potential (at the time) Black Panther movie in which I broke down how I felt Wakandan self-image should be portrayed.

Then, Captain America: Civil War.

It’s like the Russo Brothers read my mind. For about 35 seconds, I thought: “Man, I may not have to do The Horsemen anymore…”

Then, I got out of my fanboy phase and became even more inspired to make more work.

Trust, that is the highest of praise.

So, I’ve never fallen into one camp when it came to the “Corporate Two.” I loved DC’s icons and Marvel’s B-list. But, after Daredevil: Season Two, Jessica Jones, Captain America: Civil War and the upcoming Luke Cage

Cinematically, Make Mine Marvel.

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