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 visualize 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.Read More »

Women of Color in Marvel Live Action Properties: Claire Temple

Women of Color in Marvel Live Action Properties is an essay series that will look closely at the portrayals of female characters of color by actresses of color in Marvel’s various franchises. I was inspired by the fact that a lot of these female characters don’t get anywhere as much love as white female characters in similar roles and that we’re not as likely to see fandom analyze why they’re empowering. They don’t get meta-fandom or essays unless it’s about placing them in relation to white characters. I want to celebrate the women of color that inhabit the same worlds as our favorite superheroes while looking at how and why they’re important to fans like me.


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Sometimes, if you want justice you have to get it yourself.

Claire Temple in Luke Cage Season 1/Episode 7 “Manifest”

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Claire Temple is too good for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Claire Temple is one of the best characters in the MCU and she’s one of the few recurring female characters of color the franchise has had in the almost ten years of its history. She’s also Afro-Latina – as is actress Rosario Dawson – making her one of the few Black women to have a major recurring role in the MCU following Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s Raina.

In a genre that’s spent much of the past decade finding newer and more popular white male actors (often named “Chris”) to play their heroes rather than focusing on female characters or characters of color, Claire Temple is an extra awesome rarity.Read More »