Author Topic: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?  (Read 32225 times)

Offline superdave

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Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« on: September 18, 2006, 10:58:49 am »
I'm curious about your thoughts on this. I remember when I was younger, I bought a Spidey with Black Panther in it. My mom saw it and said he was a horrible stereotype, and Marvel was racist for having such a character. Now I know Hudlin, and I think Priest before him, have tried very hard to show that BP is not just a stereotype, but a strong black role model.

So the question is, when Stan Lee and Jack Kirby originally created BP were they just reinforcing racial stereotypes, or were they trying to bring down racial barriers by making a strong black character? Could it be both? Can someone be good intentioned, and yet still racist? And if that's the case, is it okay?

Thoughts?

Offline Rockscissorspaper

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2006, 01:21:42 pm »
What is his stereotype supposed to be? Luke Cage and Falcon were definitely stereotypical but Panther? I don't see it...
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Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2006, 02:24:32 pm »
I have no idea how BP could be percieved as racist.  You have to explain why you and your mom saw him that way.

Offline superdave

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2006, 02:42:47 pm »
Honestly, I think she just didn't like that he had 'black' in the name. She didn't actually read the comic, just happened to glance through it. It was something like 10-12 years ago so I'm hazy on the details.

Offline HappyPants Panther

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2006, 03:57:50 pm »
Honestly, I think she just didn't like that he had 'black' in the name. She didn't actually read the comic, just happened to glance through it. It was something like 10-12 years ago so I'm hazy on the details.

Yeah, your mom is funny that way. I tell her that all the time. Just last night I was telling her she's prejudgemental, but you know your mom...she wasn't trying to hear it. But not wanting to go to bed with anything bothering her on her mind she conceeded so we could get to more...enjoyable activities. ;)
Marvel has yet to change their Black Panther Bio page to reflect Hudlin's history. Yes! There's still hope.

Offline Pantherfan

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2006, 03:59:08 pm »
Look at it this way. Compared to how black characters in comics were pre-Black Panther, Jack and Stan's contribution was definitely an improvement. I read on a website that Marvel's first black character was Whitewash Jones and he appeared in the pages of Young Allies. This was back when Marvel was known as Timely Comics.

Myself, I would take Black Panther over a black caricature named Whitewash Jones.

Offline HappyPants Panther

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2006, 04:01:07 pm »
Whitewash Jones.

LMAO! What a name...you can tell the creators weren't even trying with that one.
Marvel has yet to change their Black Panther Bio page to reflect Hudlin's history. Yes! There's still hope.

Offline Reginald Hudlin

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2006, 04:33:57 pm »
Honestly, I think she just didn't like that he had 'black' in the name. She didn't actually read the comic, just happened to glance through it. It was something like 10-12 years ago so I'm hazy on the details.

Yeah, your mom is funny that way. I tell her that all the time. Just last night I was telling her she's prejudgemental, but you know your mom...she wasn't trying to hear it. But not wanting to go to bed with anything bothering her on her mind she conceeded so we could get to more...enjoyable activities. ;)

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Offline Ed

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2006, 09:48:50 pm »
What ever happened with Whitewash Jones. Maybe they will re-introduce during Civil War.

Offline Gooch

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2006, 05:19:50 am »
white wash jones was a sambo type charecer, big lips and in black face,  if marvel reintroduces that charecter, they will get to see the nigger in me >:(
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Offline bluezulu

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2006, 06:16:21 am »
but some have the opinion that we have had a pseudo reverse white whash jones in the form of ross. it was pure genius on his part but tell me the diffence in the need for white wash jones and ross. if you are scared say you are scared but the truth remains that ross served a a bizaroo world like black/white face character so that white readers could have someone they relate to in the pages of black panther. amazing work by priest because to this day his biggest fans of the book put the character of ross in the top 3 reasons why they loved the book.

Offline Thatguy

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2006, 07:43:12 am »
Quote
but some have the opinion that we have had a pseudo reverse white whash jones in the form of ross. it was pure genius on his part but tell me the diffence in the need for white wash jones and ross. if you are scared say you are scared but the truth remains that ross served a a bizaroo world like black/white face character so that white readers could have someone they relate to in the pages of black panther. amazing work by priest because to this day his biggest fans of the book put the character of ross in the top 3 reasons why they loved the book.

And just how exactly did you come to this conclusion?

Ross wasn't some cleverly hidden stereotype. He represented the disbelieving the disbelieving reader who didn't take Panther seriously. Priest knew alot of people would have a hard time taking Panther seriously because for the longest time, he was a second stringer who always needed the help of whatever character he was guest starring with, from Iron Man to DD. Rather than bury his head in the sand, Priest met that challenge head on. It's was Hudlin by way of recon who 'white washed' T'Challa's history, not Priest.

Ross was simply a man out of his element, and Priest used that for comedy. What's more, it allowed T'Challa to be a mysterious bad ass because we the reader didn't see inside his head, but Ross'. When Ross was surprised, generally so were we. Opinion varies yes, but I feel it allowed for better story telling, not just straight up fights.

Finally, Priest actually was very respectful of Ross' character when Ross was in his state department element. When the Senate tried to remove Panther from America, Ross made an impassioned plea, defending Panther's character and in the same issue verbally bitch slapping Captain America. In the same arc he stood on equal footing with Magneto, Namor, Dr. Doom (hologram anyways) and Warlord Kro, discussing the sinking of an American ship. In earlier issues he broke down the international business implications of Panther nationalizing all business in Wakanda with ease. So...where is the disrespect, exactly?

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #12 on: September 19, 2006, 07:54:28 am »
I remember when I was younger, I bought a Spidey with Black Panther in it. My mom saw it and said he was a horrible stereotype, and Marvel was racist for having such a character.
and with ''such a character'' me must understand a ''black character??
i mean, your mother saw a black character in the cover of a comic book and she thought that the comic book was being racist??
i don't get the point.

Offline bluezulu

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #13 on: September 19, 2006, 10:08:50 am »
on the old vaudville circuits white performers in black face was used a lot for a lot of those same reasons. :D in fact a lot of black actors would wear black face for the same effect. the racial disrespectful overtones was not the intent of priest, however it was a racial reason behind his use. he created ross so ofcourse he "loved" the character, however having a "sidekick" type character to appeal to the masses is no diffrent then having a sambo character in the book for comic relief to make the white audience feel all warm fuzzy and comfortable inside.

Offline Thatguy

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Re: Was Marvel being racist when the originally created Black Panther?
« Reply #14 on: September 19, 2006, 10:18:33 am »
We'll have to agree to disagree here, Blue. Side kicks serve an important function of allowing the reader someone to relate to when they can't do so with the main character. Batman's angst is hard to get through, so they have Robin. Tarzan barely has thought processes, so he has Jane and some adopted kid who's name I forget, and so on and so forth. Priest might have taken race into account when he decided to use Ross (who actually appeared in Ka-zar first) instead of making someone new, but he did so to challenge perceptions of Panther by fanboys (who are majority white). What's so bad about that?