Luke Cage and Black Panther are symbolic in how both heroes hope to achieve a new level of black freedom in different ways. While Luke Cage represents the every man trying to carve his niche in an American society that is rife with white nationalism and systemic racism; Black Panther represents the advent of Marcus Garvey’s dream.
A Black nation, ruled by black people that has far surpassed anything that is found outside of its walls. These two different ideologies are what represents the self-appointed “woke” and the everyday person who recognizes the system we are in and understands that the stakes are high; and a revolution won’t happen in the blink of an eye.
The “woke” think Wakanda is a real place. They think that this Wakanda is an achievable dream within the next few years if we just get on TV enough, write enough books, stop buying Jordans (of course), and stomp our feet just loud enough. For them, revolution is an eyelash away. Disregard the lack of organization, military power, and just flat out effective basic strategy to achieve this. They hang their hats on the Haitian revolution and think it was done once.
The fact is – black and brown people have a 1-40k record against “colonizers”. It makes this obvious when “Wakanda” is now synonymous with Freedom. Let’s just ignore the fact that the “woke” are just getting hip to a black superhero that is almost 50 years old.
Meanwhile the everyday man, the Luke Cage styled revolutionary is doing it in his own way. He is the one weaving his culture into his corporate job. He is slyly practicing known workplace politics (nepotism) by building up his brothers and sisters and preparing them for their next steps…simultaneously extending his/her own network and creating more power. This is the person who quietly is being a good parent and supporting their child’s dreams and not limiting them to what is known. They are exposing the next generation to aspects of the world that were denied to them in their youth.
This is the underappreciated revolutionary. But this person is the core of every movement that has ever existed on this planet.
The problem with Black Americans is that we won’t embrace the fact that we are not a monolithic group of people. We have painted ourselves into a corner that there is only one way to be woke. There is only one way to fight for black progress. Diversity is our strength as there are different shades of us but are still considered black; we have varying idea for progress that will still have positive results in our advancement as a people. The “woke” criticize Black Christianity as this was the same tool that was used by our slave masters. They also ignore that this tool has been used by us as people to give hope, joy, and encouragement.
While Christianity has its own problems – I’m not about to criticize anyone that practices if it is helping them become a productive member of society in the name of “wokeness”.
Who am I or they to say to whom you pray ain’t right
That’s who got you doing right and got you this far
Whether you say “in Jesus name” or “Hum do Allah”
Long as you know it’s a bein’ that’s supreme to you
You let that show towards others in the things you do – Common
There is room for both methods but there isn’t room for this pissing contest of “who is the wokest?”. There are more Luke Cage’s in the world than T’Challa’s and we have to embrace Luke Cage and the Misty Knight’s of the world. They don’t get enough credit for doing a hard job and taking the arrows of everyday life while still trying to be a part of the movement.
We all can’t be DeRay or Angela Rye, where being “woke” is not only a passion, but a job in which you are receiving a king’s ransom. Not that there is anything wrong with profiteering off a movement – but for every star in the spotlight, there are 10s of thousands in the shadows pushing a similar agenda for our ultimate end result in becoming a stronger people surviving the painful oppression of systematic racism.