It’s no secret that I am exhausted by reboots. However, sometimes remaking a beloved film and refashioning it for our particular cultural moment can provide opportunities for marginalized groups to have access to more nuanced stories, Ghostbusters being the perfect example. When Marvel first dropped news that they had regained the rights to Spiderman, and were rebooting the film, I was ecstatic. I thought this was our chance for Donald Glover or to see Peter Parker make way for Miles Morales. My hope was of course crushed when it was announced that Spiderman would once again be a White boy with brown hair. Tom Holland was able to melt some of the ice around my cold, cynical heart with his exuberant performance in the aggressively dull Captain America: Civil War. However, nothing could have prepared my heart for this.
Marvel has recently discovered that non-White people can be at the forefront of storytelling not just backdrops for White protagonists, and has been dropping good news to blerds and nerds of color everywhere.
- Ryan Coogler is directing Black Panther (and the cast is LIT)
- Luke Cage has his own show on Netflix, where Marvel’s content has been phenomenal
- Tessa Thompson will be in Thor 3
But, nothing could have possibly made me more exited than the news that just dropped this evening. Motherfucking ZENDAYA is about to be Mary Jane. Instead of bursting into happy tears in Starbucks, I decided to blast Queen B and feel community with the other excited Black girls on Twitter. This is a big moment for us. Even though I might never get my #Donald4Spiderman, Marvel has recognized that Black girls are worthy of infatuation and love.
The good news does of course bring back vicious memories of the vitriol John Boyega, Michael B. Jordan, and Donald Glover faced at the hands of White nerds on the internet. Zendaya of course, will not only have to endure racism, but also the misogynoir, even at the hands of Black men. I am comforted to know that Beyoncé helped teach her to drink WhiteTears™ like LEMONADE and keep slaying!!!My excitement and elation cannot be contained right now. Maybe at a later time I can parse through my feelings and detail why this is such a significant move. Perhaps, I will even be able to turn a critical eye to the recent slate of Black women playing superhero love interests and ask why more of them can’t be darker than a paper bag. But for now, Zendaya gifs ALL DAY BABY!!!!