Luke Cage and Claire Temple: Not Your Mammy Figures

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I’m used to seeing posts where Black characters are reduced to nannies for white characters, but this post I found in the “Claire Temple” tag on tumblr really took the cake:

“Something I totally see happening in Defenders is Claire telling Luke about how Danny “has some serious issues and needs professional help” and how he should “watch out for the kid”, but of course Luke was already doing something like that…

Look, what I’m saying is that Luke is the kind of wise, experienced and calm person that Danny could have such a healthy relationship with and I can’t wait to see them interact. >.<“[1]

Let’s talk about this.

Let’s talk about how this person wants Claire and Luke to serve as mentors for Danny, a grown ass man who is capable of everything except maneuvering around adulthood. Let’s talk about how this sort of outlook – where Black characters are expected to serve as desexualized nanny figures for white characters – is par for the course in fandom.

There are three recurring black characters across the MCU’s Netflix series: Claire Temple, Luke Cage, and Misty Knight. That’s it. Three black characters that’ll come into contact with Danny Rand and two out of the three are frequently repurposed specifically so that they can take care of white characters[2].

Luke and Claire aren’t here for your inability to conceptualize them as full characters outside of the Mammy/Magical Negro archetypes and they certainly don’t owe this dollar bin Danny Rand a damn thing. Continue reading

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[Book Review] Miles Morales – A Spider-Man Novel

Miles Morales Cover

Title: Miles Morales: A Spider-Man Novel
Author:
Jason Reynolds (Twitter)
Rating: Super Highly Recommended
Genre/Category: Superheroes, Slice of Life, Spider-Man, Young Adult, Race and Representation
Release Date: August 1, 2017

Publisher:  Marvel Press/Disney Hyperion

Order Here: AMAZON (KINDLE)  | AMAZON (HARDCOVER) | BARNES AND NOBLE

Note: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review and that’s what you’re getting.

SYNOPSIS

“Everyone gets mad at hustlers, especially if you’re on the victim side of the hustle. And Miles knew hustling was in his veins.”

Miles Morales is just your average teenager. Dinner every Sunday with his parents, chilling out playing old-school video games with his best friend, Ganke, crushing on brainy, beautiful poet Alicia. He’s even got a scholarship spot at the prestigious Brooklyn Visions Academy. Oh yeah, and he’s Spider Man.

But lately, Miles’s spidey-sense has been on the fritz. When a misunderstanding leads to his suspension from school, Miles begins to question his abilities. After all, his dad and uncle were Brooklyn jack-boys with criminal records. Maybe kids like Miles aren’t meant to be superheroes. Maybe Miles should take his dad’s advice and focus on saving himself.

As Miles tries to get his school life back on track, he can’t shake the vivid nightmares that continue to haunt him. Nor can he avoid the relentless buzz of his spidey-sense every day in history class, amidst his teacher’s lectures on the historical “benefits” of slavery and the importance of the modern-day prison system. But after his scholarship is threatened, Miles uncovers a chilling plot, one that puts his friends, his neighborhood, and himself at risk.

It’s time for Miles to suit up.

REVIEW

Jason Reynolds’s Miles Morales: A Spider-Man Novel is the kind of Miles Morales content that I’ve been craving since the second Brian Michael Bendis had Miles straight up not get that him being “the Black Spider-Man” was significant representation for kids.

Reynolds’ novel portrays a version of Miles that fans of the character (and some of his lingering detractors) need to be reading. It is, easily, a portrayal of Miles that is more honest and authentic than any we’ve seen so far. Reynolds’ imbues the novel (and Miles’s life) with details about his day to day life at home and in school, giving us a look at Miles’s life that we so far really haven’t seen in the comics themselves.

What’s fantastic about Miles Morales, is that this is a novel where we really get to know not just Miles, but the people around him. When Spider-Man Homecoming came out, everyone was beyond pleased with the fact that we had more time with Peter and his friends and in his neighborhood than ever before.

We got to know the kid under the mask.

That’s what Jason Reynolds does for Miles. Continue reading

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Totally Anecdotal: Stitch’s Brush With Racism in Education

I wanted to start my review of Jason Reynolds’ Miles Morales: A Spider-Man Novel with a slightly relevant anecdote on an experience I had as a teenager.

As an adult that was once a Black kid in the US education system (in Florida, natch), one racist teacher can make your school life a living hell even if they’re not part of a creepy (but absolutely plausible) plot to disenfranchise and subjugate Black people. So I wanted to talk about that.

But this got long and no one wants to read this sort of thing literally on top of a review so…

Separate post!

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Ten years ago I was a senior in a mediocre charter high school. I was sixteen and had just skipped a grade (taking 11th/12th grade English at the same time) so that I could graduate early. Up until this point, all of my teachers were aware that I had “Bored Genius Syndrome” and that if they didn’t keep me engaged in the school work, something else would.

So they kept me busy. Continue reading

Posted in Comic Book, Totally Anecdotal | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Links I Loved – July

I have returned with another bunch of links that I found interesting, useful, and awesome! This July, much of the reading I did was on intersections of race and sexuality. Several of the articles that I read talk about homophobia and racism and include slurs, particularly the pieces on Lafayette Reynolds and on the Mayweather/Mc Gregor fight. The “White Women in Robes” piece also contains descriptions of sexual and reproductive violence.


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On ‘Baby Driver’ and black retribution hidden behind white privilege

Baby Driver is a dynamic film supported by tour-de-force editing, wild car chases, inventive cinematography, an eclectic soundtrack (everything from Queen to the Commodores) that carries with it the stale odor of white privilege as its guiding thematic principal that allows it to show a white male criminal character, complicit in vicious murders of law enforcement,large-scale robberies, carjacking and property damage, receive a light sentence and get paroled into the waiting arms of his beloved girlfriend.

“The Keeping Room” Succeeds Where Sofia Coppola’s “The Beguiled” Fails (This essay contains descriptions of sexual assault.)

Sofia Coppola’s newest film and remake of The Beguiled sets itself apart from both the 1966 novel and the 1971 original film adaptation in terms of style and tenor, but carries the same themes of solitude and fear. Most significantly, it brazenly disrespects its original source material and the history that it drew from by removing an enslaved Black woman, Hallie, from a narrative about women in the Confederate South during the Civil War.

Continue reading

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The Consort – Prologue

THE CONSORT

Iirin receives a visitor that will change his life forever.

On the Moonsday morning that changed Iirin’s life, the kitchen that fed the temple-orphanage’s dozens of inhabitants was empty. The lack of noise and of the usual clattering noises of chaos from the staff should have been an omen to Iirin, a sign that everything as he knew it was soon to change.

Instead, Iirin was busy making breakfast for almost three dozen hungry little demons because the temple-orphanage’s half a dozen cooks and assistants were nowhere to be found and as always, Iirin had been left in the dark about everything beyond what time Matron wanted him to be at work in the kitchens.

Halfway through preparing the weak rice porridge for the littlest ones who were still teething, the doors that connected the kitchen to the dining room flew open with a bang that made Iirin flinch and nearly drop his ladle into the bubbling porridge.

“I knew I’d find you in here,” Matron said, her voice a taunt that never failed to make Iirin’s jaw clench. She spat the words out as if she was accusing Iirin of some horrible deed rather than yelling at him for doing the very task that she’d told him he was responsible for only the night before.

Iirin never stopped stirring the porridge, only half-turning so that he could look at Matron’s livid face and the twin pinpricks of red that brightened her cheeks.

“Matron,” Iirin said, dipping his head in a shallow show of respect that the demon in front of him had never once tried to earn. “What is it that I’m being accused of this time?” Continue reading

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Small Stitch Reviews: Wildfire  and Lover’s Knot

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Two short reviews of urban fantasy books I’ve read recently!

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[Book Review] Oversight (The Community #2) by Santino Hassell

Oversight Cover

Title: Oversight (The Community #2)
Author:
Santino Hassell (Twitter)
Rating:
Highly Recommended
Genre/Category: Urban Fantasy, Queer Fiction/Romance, Psychics
Release Date: June 26, 2017

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Order Here: RIPTIDE PUBLSHING | AMAZON

Note: I received a free copy of this novella from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All of the views in this review are my own. There are mild spoilers in this review, but for the most part I leave the big stuff a mystery. Additionally, if you haven’t read the first book in the series, go do that now!

 

SYNOPSIS

Holden Payne has it all . . . or so he thinks. As heir to the founder of the Community—an organization that finds, protects, and manages psychics—he’s rich, powerful, and treated like royalty. But after a series of disappearances and murders rock the Community, he’s branded the fall guy for the scandal and saddled with a babysitter.

Sixtus Rossi is a broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man-bun and a steely gaze. He’s also an Invulnerable—supposedly impervious to both psychic abilities and Holden’s charms. It’s a claim Holden takes as a challenge. Especially if sleeping with Six may help him learn whether the Community had more to do with the disappearances than they claimed.

As Holden uncovers the truth, he also finds himself getting in deep with the man sent to watch him. His plan to seduce Six for information leads to a connection so intense that some of Six’s shields come crashing down. And with that comes a frightening realization: Holden has to either stand by the Community that has given him everything, or abandon his old life to protect the people he loves.

 

REVIEW

Let’s start this review off with how I didn’t expect to like Holden Payne as much as I did by the end of Oversight.

Back in Insight (Community #1) Holden is introduced as the owner of the nightclub Evolution, the setting for some of the book’s biggest scenes. He’s not a bad character at all, but it was hard to get a bead on him because none of the characters really knew him beyond “wealthy and spoiled son of Community’s founder”. I didn’t hate Holden, but then, I didn’t really care about him. But Oversight fleshes Holden out to the point where I not only found myself caring about the character’s survival, but about his happiness. Continue reading

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A Rainy Night In – Part One

Note about future access: The next two installments of this story are super NSFW and will be behind a password. If you’re over 18 and want to see where the story goes, you can get in touch with me via the usual avenues: Twitter, my Tumblr inbox, or my contact form here.

A Rainy Night In - Part 2

At first, it looks like the only thing that Mahreen is going to get to do with her degree and her experience is conjure up filthy fantasies for lonely customers looking for some fun. Then, on one rainy night when no one else is in the store, a golden-eyed shifter walks in with a smiling concubus at his side and a very tempting proposition for Mahreen.

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Mahreen has always liked the rain.

She even likes nights like this one when it starts storming so badly that she can sense the thunder rumbling, vibrating hard enough that it echoes in her head. Without having to glance at the forecast app on her phone, Mahreen can tell that the storm surging through sky is the kind that’ll last through the night.

That’s probably why The Sex Shoppe has been empty from the moment Mahreen had relieved Naoki from her shift.

People don’t usually come in for sex toys and fantasies when it’s pouring outside. Not customers, not Mahreen’s supervisor, and certainly not the young witches-in-training that are supposed to be working with her on this shifts.

Hell, she can’t even expect the odd actual pervert that wants her to conjure up something awful to wander in.

One would think that someone would dare to brave the storm in order to get a guaranteed spot in one of the booths and the chance to have their fantasies come to life for a few minutes or hours, but the rain is ever so helpful at clearing Mahreen’s night.

Continue reading

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The Stitch is on Patreon: Take Two

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You’ve heard it here folks, I’m giving Patreon a second try!

This time, I have a schedule planned out for the next twelve months and a snazzy (if silly) video that talks about who I am and what I hope to get from Patreon.

If you like the content I’m creating and want to help make it possible for me to make more without worrying about how I’m going to eat or pay bills, please feel free to check out (and subscribe to) my Patreon and share with any interested friends or followers!

The Stitch on Patreon!

 

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[Audio Review] Stitch Takes On… Spider-Man: Homecoming

Stitch Takes On - Spider-Man Homecoming

So I’m trying something new by making an audio review following my second viewing of Spider-Man: Homecoming! Right now I don’t have a way to transcribe the audio, but f I ever get to a place where I can afford to pay for transcription… I’ll get on that.

This review contains so many spoilers for Homecoming, a metric ton of Tony Stark Hate (ugh), some bitterness about the Miles Morales movie we could’ve had, and goopy fawning over how much I loved this movie.

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