Thank You Luke Cage!


It was better than Spiderman. Yes, better than X-Men. Let me take you back; it was better than He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. It was better than Martin! My wife and I laughed after Martin.

I loved Season 2 of Marvel’s Luke Cage.

I know I'm late. Season 2 of Luke Cage was released June 22, 2018, on Netflix. I just finished watching the series finale last night.

On average, I watch one hour of television per week. My responsibilities as a husband, father, entrepreneur, and assistant professor do not leave much idle time to sit and enjoy TV.

Luke Cage was a refreshing break from my extremely full schedule. I enjoyed the depictions of Black masculinity. Yes, the show added to other representations of #toxicmasculinity, but the vulnerability, commentary, and social consciousness of the multiple characters offered a fair balance.

Actor Mike Colter plays Luke Cage. Mike Colter also starred in Million Dollar Baby, The Good Wife, Ringer, The Defenders, and other television shows and films. Of all the roles that I have seen him play, his work in Luke Cage struck a chord with me.

In Luke Cage, Colter is a bulletproof Black man on a mission to stop organized crime in New York. With each episode, he engages a fraction of the organization led by the notorious crime boss, Mariah Stokes played by Alfre Woodard. Luke Cage’s goal is to put an end to the illegal distribution of guns and drugs in Harlem. With Cage’s powers, he does the work that the NYPD is not capable of doing, despite having a staff led by an incredible detective named Misty Knight.

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Throughout the Luke Cage series, there exist powerful and positive messages of Black men and women. The main character is an advocate for social justice who wears a black hoodie in salute to the late Trayvon Martin. Throughout the series, there are depictions of business owners who are people of color. The female characters are strong and intelligent. They are not passive sidekicks supporting the work of a knight in shining armor.

In many ways, I found the images on par to the film Black Panther. The director in Black Panther made it a priority that men and women shared the stage. They exemplified the possibility of Blackness in a world that often supports negative images of my community. Through the Luke Cage series, there exists a continuum of reframing the dominant perspectives of the African diaspora.

The television show is not perfect. It is violent. As aforementioned, there are representations of #toxicmasculinity. I don't want my children using the adult language used by the characters in every episode, but I believe the overall message of Luke Cage is necessary for creating more diverse and inclusive education and business environments.

Luke Cage teaches us that Black is beautiful. It illustrates to the world that we can be powerful, intelligent, compassionate, vulnerable, and courageous.

Through the series, it is possible to see the potential in our communities.

Unfortunately, Netflix canceled Luke Cage for a third season. There were some reported "creative differences," that prevented a production agreement.

I will hold on to the many positive images of the series and in the spirit of Luke Cage to continue work aligned with a brighter vision for underserved communities.

In the final words of Luke Cage’s father, played by the great late Reg E. Cathey, “Science, magic, God, that power flows from within, from inside. What comes out, when that pressure is heaviest, that’s the real magic, that’s what defines being a man.”

If this post resonates with you, sign up for my leadership course to start the journey toward realizing your super-human potential!

#lukecage #masculinity #toixicmasculinity