PSA: X-Men Is Still Our Story

In honor of Black History Month, I feel the need to make this important public service announcement:

Dear Comic Book Fandom,

On behalf of Wakandans everywhere, X-MEN IS STILL OUR STORY!!!!

It is our legacy, our triumph, our love letter to one another.

“No X-Men isn’t about black people, it’s a metaphor for (white) fauxminism.”

Yes X-Men is an allegory to the feminism/womanism in this country, which black and brown women founded. Case in point: Abolitionist, feminist, and prophetess Harriet Tubman who was the woman to lead an armed expedition in the Civil War.
“No X-Men isn’t about black people, it’s about intersectionality.”

Yes X-Men is about intersectionality. Intersectionality is a truth that Truth literally explored when Sojourner asked, Ain’t I A Woman?

Intersectionality is also a subject that was near to Black Panther Party founder Dr. Huey Newton. Which is why he encouraged others to embrace feminism and love our LGBTQ siblings.

“No X-Men isn’t about black people, it’s about (white) LGBTQ Rights.”

Indeed. X-Men is about LGBTQ rights in America. Also made possible by historical black heroes be they Miss Major, Angela Davis, Bayard Rustin or Langston Hughes.

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It amazes me how everyone from Creator Stan Lee to actress Rebecca Romijn have explained in detail how X-Men was primarily based on the struggle blacks endured to attain equal rights in the United States. Lee has repeatedly explicated how Magneto was inspired by Malcolm X and that Charles Xavier was based on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Yet when I point this out to a lot of white folks, they STILL argue with me even after I point them to interviews and other evidence where Stan Lee and other creators specifically state that the Civil Rights movement was the primary inspiration for X-Men?

For years I thought the Civil Rights references to X-Men was too on the nose: Raven is my slave name; the chickens are coming home to roost; Magneto stating to handle matters “by any means necessary”; Xavier’s dream of a peaceful co-existence between mutants and humans.

But apparently mofos still don’t know their history. Not only that but too often they throw a temper tantrum when the obvious is pointed out to them. They act is if  giving credit to black people = the combination of defying the laws of physics, kicking a puppy and pissing on the Bible all in one fell swoop.

These are the same people who will praise Magneto for fighting back against his Nazi oppressors but then in the same breath will denigrate black folks for being angry about racism. That’s right. Too many white folks would sooner empathize with a fictional race of mutants rather than showing any modicum of human dignity to the people whose stories they’re watching.

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Don’t get it twisted. X-Men now stands as the story for all marginalized people battling institutional oppression and that is awesome. PoCs are not disputing that or opposed to that.

The issue is that in American society, every time PoCs, especially blacks, inspire or make some notable contribution: Alexander Dumas, President Obama, Shonda Rhimes, Beyonce, Halle Berry, Rock & Roll, or X-Men, suddenly people are chomping at the bits to diminish or dismiss our contributions.

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Why can’t something be inspired/created/or feature something pertaining to blackness and still be something universal for everyone to appreciate?

Further proof why the minority metaphor is not enough.

But in case it wasn’t clear, The Children of the Atom are based on the Original People.

Happy #BlackHistoryMonth

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By Dennis R. Upkins