Posted in Feature Spotlight, Jaya's Pop Culture Minute-PCM

Jaya’s Pop Culture Minute!- “Let’s Talk About The Marvel Fandom”

Closing out this month on Jaya’s Pop Culture Minute, BFF intern Jaya dives back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with an analysis and some commentary on the Disney+ series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier!!

With the ending of Wandavision, Marvel was set to release its latest series The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, a show following two characters that when all is said and done we do not really know. But as the episodes started coming out there became a clear divide between the praise Bucky Barnes was sent and the lack of praise and comments for Sam Wilson. Essentially Sam Wilson is being treated as an accessory within his own show.

As the show ratings progressed, it became known that Sam Wilson was not the reason why the Marvel fandom liked the show. This is nothing new, Black superheroes are constantly pushed behind their white counterparts, and are treated less than by a majority of the marvel fandom, (mostly from dudebros and uneducated fans). What most of the fandom lacks in seeing is what they deem Sam Wilson is worth. Within a week of the first two episodes Sam Wilson was at the bottom of polls conducted by various fan run sites and pop culture news outlets. For example, one had Sam polling at 11% while Zemo was at 20% (according to Fandom Wikipedia). This is a noticeable difference. It was not until the fourth episode that Sam Wilson started to gain traction as a result of John Walker, the government appointed Captain America bludgeoning an innocent person to death (episode 3). It’s almost as if Sam had to prove his worth in the eyes of the Marvel fandom in order for him to gain credibility.

As a Bucky and Sam fan myself,  I noticed how Bucky polled very high early on in the show, while Sam stayed low. Interestingly enough, in the first few episodes Bucky had more lines than he did in the MCU movies, but this does not mean he was better in any way than Sam. Time and time again this pattern repeats itself, Black superheroes whether they have their own movie, or show, constantly have to prove their worth or earn their credibility in the eyes of a majority of the Marvel fandom. An early example of this is James Rhodes and Tony Stark. Through the Iron Man franchise Rhodey is treated as a sidekick or an accessory to the playboy philanthropist. We get very little backstory about Rhodey and he’s treated almost like a filler character. This continues even in the Avengers movies where Rhodey is seen as the sidekick. Even now, decades later after the last Iron Man movie, the Marvel fandom still treats him as a sidekick and not his own character due to Marvel’s lack of character development. 

After watching the finale it seems even more obvious that Sam had to prove himself as a character for people to like him more, whereas Bucky was already well liked. Additionally, the finale received the lowest ratings, which is interesting because this episode is the first time we see Sam really step into his role as Captain America. On Instagram only a DAY after Sam took up the mantle people were making their own edits of Sam in the suit, along with tweets of who should be the next Captain America after as if Sam did not just become Captain America. This further proves how much Sam Wilson is treated as a side character/ accessory in his own show. As stated earlier, the Marvel fandom has shown this pattern time and time again. This is an issue that Marvel writers must deal with moving forward. A step in the right direction would be to hire more diverse writers so we can stop this pattern, because as a Black Marvel fan this constant pattern is tiring and irritating.

Sebastian Stan as James ‘Bucky’ Barnes/the Winter Soldier and Anthony Mackie as Sam Wilson/Falcon
Posted in A Professor's Thoughts..., Feature Spotlight, On the Desk...

Dr. G’s Upcoming Events

Here are a couple of events happening tomorrow and Friday:

*April 22nd, 2021 (8pm/ET)– “Art, Politics, and Social Justice in Times of Crisis.”-Art History Graduate Studies Symposium (Virtual Keynote Speaker)…Art History program (Department of Art)[University of Memphis] (Memphis, TN)

To Register to Attend Click Here

*April 23rd, 2021 (3-3:20 pm/EST)– “Inclusive and Accessible Teaching Practices using Media and Popular Culture”-2021 Virtual Symposia-Inclusive Teaching Practices (Symposium Speaker)…VCU-Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence [Virginia Commonwealth University] (Richmond, VA)

Inclusive and Accessible Teaching Practices using Media and Popular Culture

In 2021, pop culture is not just for entertainment purposes. Classrooms are now prime spaces to facilitate and leverage ‘pop culture’ into open dialogues and discussions for students to engage with various classroom topics. 

To Register to Attend Click Here

Photo by Jonas Kakaroto on Pexels.com
Posted in Feature Spotlight

Celebration Time!!

Cue the music and push play on Tony! Toni! Toné! “Anniversary” and “Feels Good”… !!

On this day 18 years ago on the great campus of Clark Atlanta University, myself and 23 other amazing Black women became a part of the illustrious sisterhood that is Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Sigma Chapter!! What a glorious day!!

April 17th, 2003 was the day that the “24 Vibrant Visionaries of Virtue” made their debut into a lifelong sisterhood!!

And I could not ask for a better group of women to cross the burning sands with and enter into Delta land! Oh to be a Delta Girl!!

We getting up there Ladies!! 🙂 Cheers to many more Deltaversaries!!

~Dr. G aka “Love Jones” #20

Posted in Feature Spotlight, Resources

Feature Spotlight- “Jaya’s Pop Culture Minute”

Before March ends I had to make sure you got your monthly feature from Black Future Feminist Intern Jaya!! Not only do we have a new feature, but it will be housed under a new name, Jaya’s Pop Culture Minute!!

This month Jaya is offering a commentary on the Amazon Studios film, One Night in Miami (2020). Check it out below:

Although One Night in Miami is based on various moments (with fictional dialogue) between  singer Sam Cooke, civil rights activist Malcolm X, boxer Cassius Clay, and football star Jim Brown, during an actual event the film somehow balanced out these large historical figures so that audiences can visualize them as real people. Most times when discussing Malcom X we only see him as a huge pivotal figure, but rarely as confidant, friend, or father. In this movie, each figure is presented in a more digestible manner. Additionally, this movie has an inviting feel that draws you into this filmic story. Simply put, this movie gives new meaning to the bonds of friendship, and how one night together can open new wounds, while mending old ones. Through the many conversations, we see how each of these men bring us into their deep dialogue, while also exposing audiences to the struggles of that time. While each of the men saw themselves as brothers and friends, like family and friends they had their disagreements, mainly around civil rights, but managed to understand and ultimately respect their differences. Even though the film delivers a lighthearted feel, it also shows moments when you are snapped back into reality. In particular, we see this in Malcolm’s uneasiness and concern with being followed and the constant feeling that a wave of death is in the air. 

Overall, this movie shined a fresh new light and a more human side to these important, complex historical figures. Even the performances from the actors were spot on from their dialect to small details, which only enhanced the movie. The conflicts between characters are perfectly done. Additionally, the cinematography adds another layer of greatness from the bird’s eye view of the boxing match, to seeing Sam pull you in with his melodic voice, and Jim Brown in the viewfinder.

For a directorial debut, from Regina King, this is an amazing movie! Moreover, the idea of seeing these figures act normal and interact with each other during their last days is something that will leave your heart hurting. In the end, each actor’s performance will leave you breathless and wanting more!!

You will be able to find Jaya’s monthly features as well as other engaging and fun content in the “Resources” section of the site!!

One Night in Miami (2021)
Cast members (l-r) Sam Cooke [Leslie Odom, Jr.]; Jim Brown [Aldis Hodge]; Malcolm X [Kingsley Ben-Adir]; and Muhammad Ali [Eli Goree]

Jaya’s PCM Rating: 3.5 /5 Stars

Posted in Feature Spotlight

Feature Spotlight- The Clark Atlanta University Philharmonic Society

Nothing like spotlighting the great work of one’s alma mater!! And on yesterday (March 7th, 2021) at the 2021 NBA All-Star Basketball Game in Atlanta, GA, my alma mater, the Clark Atlanta University Philharmonic Society (arranged by Dr. Roland Carter and directed by Dr. Curtis Powell) had the honor of singing James Weldon Johnson’s (Atlanta University C/O 1894) “Lift Every Voice and Sing”!!

This video is set at Harkness Hall on Clark Atlanta University’s historic campus. Commonly known as the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing” was originally penned by Atlanta University alumnus James Weldon Johnson AU’1894 and set to music by his brother J. Rosamond Johnson. It was first performed as a song in 1900 for President’s Day, and later the NAACP adopted it as the Black National Anthem in 1930.

See the amazing performance below:

Oooo sweet Jesus, I still got chills, even watching it a second time!!

Go Panthers!! Proud CAU Alum (C/O 2003)!! Nothing like the HBCU experience!!

Posted in Feature Spotlight

Feature Spotlight-Article Repost

In the spirit of Black History Month, I wanted to make sure I shared with my BFF family a great article in the “Washington Post” from a colleague/mentor Dr. Keisha Blain on the “Five Myths about Black History.”

Each February since 1976, Americans have celebrated Black History Month. Established by historian Carter G. Woodson as Negro History Week in 1926, the commemoration developed over 50 years until it became Black History Month to mark the contributions of Black people. Despite the significance of Black history, far too many Americans don’t grasp its centrality to U.S. history. This lack of knowledge helps spread myths about the Black past.

~Dr. Keisha N. Blain 2/19/21

Read the full article here!

Dr. Keisha N. Blain is an associate professor of history at the University of Pittsburgh, is a co-editor of Made by History, The Washington Post’s daily section for historical analysis. She is a co-editor of “Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019.

Posted in Feature Spotlight

Event Reminders

Friends, just a couple reminders of Dr. G’s upcoming events:

  • [WILL BE RESCHEDULED] February 24th, 2021 (6:00pm/ET)-“Black History Month Discussion: The Black Family and its Representations, Identity, and Complexities” (Panelist)…Richmond Public Library System (Richmond, VA) [Register Here]
"The Black family and its representation, identity, and diversity": A discussion with Michael Dickinson, Kimberly Wallace-Sanders, and Grace Gipson
  • February 24th, 2021-“What’s Your RPG Fantasy?: Let’s Talk Blackness, Politics, and Gaming” (Virtual Lecture)… The New Commons Project-University of Maine Farmington (Farmington, ME)…[Watch Here]
Posted in Feature Spotlight

‘Just Talk/Talk Just’ Panel Discussion Recap

Just in case you were not able to tune into the “Just Talk/Talk Just” panel discussion How Long Till Black Future Month: Honoring Black History, Cultivating Black Futures you can check it out below:

This was a great discussion and dialogue!! It was like good ol’ school conversation amongst colleagues and friends.

Ultimately a true pleasure to share the ‘digital stage’ with some great scholars (Rev. Melanie C. Jones, Rev. Dr. Sakena Young-Scaggs, De’Angelo Dia, and Sommer Jordan)!