by ari attack, editor
recently, I started watching Black Lightning on the CW. the story follows Jefferson Pierce – a high school principal by day and superhero, Black Lightning, by night. the story takes place in Freeland, a city plagued with gang violence. Black Lighting, who must’ve been dormant for a long time, re-emerged after Pierce is pulled over by police. he was pulled from the car, in the rain, dragged to the police car for a woman to ID him as whoever person robbed them. of course, Pierce wasn’t the culprit and all the police could say was, “have a good night sir.” typical police brutality bullshit. that was all Black Lightning needed to come back and help his city.
now, this is a typical superhero show. Black Lighting hiding underneath the real identity of Pierce. his family, city, a wack police chief and much more packed inside of this 25 minute show. reminds me of watching Luke Cage for the first time. except for the soundtrack in BL isn’t as dope. it’s the first season of Black Lightning, so i’m excited to see where this goes.
i didn’t grow up liking superheros. honestly, i wasn’t into them until certain guys i dated turned me on these types of heroes. and the wanting of a superhero in my real life. someone who can fight these unjust police and crooked government. where’s my black superhero?
speaking of which, I CAN’T WAIT FOR BLACK PANTHER!
when i saw Captain America Civil War two years ago, i wouldn’t have guessed that it was going to lead me to fall in love with Black Panther.
the thought of growing up in a place like Wakanda, where your blackness is royalty. (I’ve had these experiences at home, always. but not when leaving home.) watching the trailer, T’Challa, also known as Black Panther, is returning home to Wakanda to claim his throne. his father was murdered in the previous Captain America film. not to mention with a star shining cast with actors like Lupita N’yongo, Michael B. Jordan and more, this is the best black history month gift ever.
I’m so proud that these actors, these characters are so black, so real and so recognizable to me. i see my Nigerian family in this, i see all of my family in this. we NEEDED this.
we continue to need these images, this representation. this black salvation.
i’m writing this on the day Trayvon Martin would be 23. thinking about how many injustices that happen daily, that literally become written policy. under this current regime also known as the presidency, i wish we had a superhero. an immortal one, that couldn’t die from bullets, that could get away and really save us from white supremacists, unjust law enforcement and all other tools used against marginalized people in this country.
black superheros are keeping me sane this black history month.