(Spoiler Alert: If you have not made it halfway through season one of Luke Cage, you may find some spoilers in this article. It was written in 2016 though, so if you have not seen Luke Cage yet, get on it.)
This last weekend Netflix released Marvel’s Luke Cage series and so many people scrambled to watch it that it actually crashed Netflix servers.
People seem to gravitate toward this show because of its unabashed blackness and the fact that it is so DAMN entertaining. And if you are a member of a black fraternity or sorority, there is a very good chance that you spit out your drink, dropped your popcorn and hit the rewind button as soon as you heard the subtle Black greek reference made during the show when it was revealed that two of the characters in the show are supposed to be a members of a black sorority.
Yes, that is right! The show alludes to the fact that one of the villains, Mariah Dillard aka. Black Mariah who is played by Alfre Woodard, as well as the character Inspector Priscilla Ridley, are members of Delta Sigma Theta.
During one of the scenes the non-greek GDI(lol) Misty Knight makes fun of Inspector Priscilla Ridley for being members of Alpha Kappa Alpha with the villain Black Mariah.
“Look, I was just about to compel her to make a statement before you let your little soror Skee-Wee on out of here,” she states poking fun at them by naming the wrong sorority.
The show makes you believe they are AKAs until The Inspector final corrects Misty and lets her know that they are Deltas by stating the proper call is “OO-OOP”. As soon as the black corners of the internet got word of this scene it FREAKED out! Just look at some of the Tweets that went out! People were HYPED!
So now for some background on the characters. Time for a Black Nerd history lesson. Ya’ll ready?
According to the internet, Alfre Woodard’s character, Mariah Dillard, was created by Billy Graham, George Tuska, and Steve Englehart, and first appeared in Luke Cage, Hero for Hire Vol. 1, #5 in 1973. Her storyline is a little different than in the comic books than it is in the Netflix Original Series but that mostly has to do with her appearance.
“This version is depicted as a councilwoman of Harlem and the cousin of illegal drug dealer “Cottonmouth”, who aids in the funding of some of her political campaigns. She is not depicted with a large physique as the comic version has. Though she initially tries to avoid too much involvement in Cottomouth’s affairs, she kills him in rage after Cornell accuses her of wanting to get raped by her Uncle Pete when she was younger. She then allies with his right-hand man, Shades, to pin the murder on Luke Cage and tries to get the aid of Cage’s enemy Diamondback to bring him down. She is nearly arrested by Misty Knight, but Shades killed her primary witness to confirm Mariah’s crimes. Due to Mariah name-dropping Luke’s original name on television, Luke is arrested and taken back to Seagate, while she and Shades continue Cottonmouth’s criminal empire.”
This is how she was depicted in the comics:
Inspector Priscilla Ridley AKA Inspector By-The-Book, who is played by Karen Pittman in the show, is a hard to like police character who really wants to take down the good guy. While she is not as big of a character in the show, it alludes to that she is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta.
While the show gives us no background as to where they fictionally crossed and this moment actually seems pretty small in terms of plot development, it is important to us over here at Watch The Yard because by having characters reference Alpha Kappa Alpha and Delta Sigma Theta, we now know that Black fraternities and sororities as well as Howard University(the campus on which both the AKAs and the Deltas were founded) exist within the Marvel Universe.
If we believe this to be a fact, it means that Black Greekdom exists within the Marvel Universe and that it is very probable that other superheroes who are black and have attended college, or have educations could possibly also be Black greeks!
Yeah…that is right! Just stop and think about this for a moment. It means that there could be a fictional NPHC chapter in Wakanda! Can you imagine if Marvel decided to retcon some of their famous Black characters such as Storm, War Machine, Blade, Miles Morales(the afro-latino Spiderman), Nick Fury and give them Black greek plotlines?
This could mean that your favorite Superhero could possibly also be your fictional frat brother or soror.
Let that marinate…
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Watch Whitley Gilbert Passionately Explain Why She Chose To Attend An HBCU Over A Top PWI
Why do some students pick HBCUs over predominantly white institutions? Well in the third season and 12th episode of A Different World, the show waded into the seemingly never-ending “debate” of HBCU vs PWI in which Whitley breaks it down for those who just don’t get it.
Here is TheAntiIntellect‘s description of the episode:
“In the episode, Dwayne’s childhood friend comes to visit him at Hillman and tries to convince him to transfer to the PWI he attended. He makes all of the baseless claims people always make about HBCUs not being a reflection of the “real world,” HBCUs not being as rigorous, and HBCUs not having the right connections. When Dwayne asks Whitley if Hillman was her first choice she, like many HBCU students and alums, answers with an emphatic “Yes!” She was part of a legacy at Hillman that would simply not have been the case had she attend the other school she was accepted to, Georgetown. The episode ends with Dwayne schooling his friend on the many accomplishments of Hillman. This is something that many HBCU students, alums, and supporters can identify as the assumption is always that our HBCUs are not enough and that we are somehow missing out on something by attending them. As this episode shows, the HBCU track record speaks for itself.”
Watch this clip from the episode and SHARE it if you agree with Whitley!
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Minnesotans Are Petitioning To Replace Their State Capitol’s Columbus Statue With One of Prince
The debate over memorials and statues has become a hot topic in the US over the last two weeks. With the taking down of Confederate memorials, Americans are starting to reevaluate the importance and meaning of other public memorials in their cities, opening up the debate about what cities should do with statues of Cristopher Columbus.
A group of citizens led by community organizer Wintana Melekin may have found the answer for a Columbus statue located on the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol building in St. Paul — replace it with a statue of Prince.
Yes, that’s correct. There is a growing group of Minnesotans who want to replace their state’s Columbus statue with Prince. They currently have a petition that, as of Thursday morning, only has 100 signatures to go before they can present it to Governor Mark Dayton.
We at Watch The Yard reached out to Melekin to ask her why she thinks Prince would be a good alternative.
“I spend a lot of time at our State Capitol. It’s a space that already does not feel inviting or inclusive to communities of color. So to see Columbus every day in front of the building does not make it feel more welcoming. So I put the petition together because I wanted to see someone, Prince, at the capitol because he represents a part of Minnesota that we are all proud of,” she stated.
This is not the first time the statue has caused concern. It has already had its inscription rewritten, reports WCCO. While it originally credited Columbus as the “discoverer” of America, a new plaque was added in 1992.
While this might sound like something that is impossible, Prince, a native of Minnesota, is a very unifying symbol in the state.
“The replacement of Columbus is about the deep history of white supremacy and colonialism in the United States and the need for Minnesota to lead the country in this moment. Plus we all know Prince is a genius and who wouldn’t pick him over Columbus anyway,” Melekin stated.
“I’m not sure how likely we are to win this replacement campaign but it seems obvious at the moment we in Minnesota should just go ahead and make this happen,” she told Watch The Yard.
The petition to the governor which is named “Replace Columbus statue at MN State Capitol with Prince Statue” states, “Prince represents Minnesota values and Columbus does not,” is growing and can be found here.
Now it is up to the Minnesotans to decide…
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These Two Famous Alpha Kappa Alpha Members Are Getting Their Own Legos
Lego has announced it will soon release a set of minifigures of five pioneering female scientists whose contributions to NASA have largely been underappreciated. Two of these four women just so happen to be members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority! Yes, that is right, your kids will soon be able to play with Black women scientist legos!
The set of female NASA mathematicians and space scientists includes Katherine Johnson, 98, who is best known for calculating and verifying trajectories for the Mercury and Apollo programs and was recently celebrated in the Oscar-winning film Hidden Figures where she was played by Taraji P. Henson.
Johnson has co-authored 26 scientific papers and in 2015 President Barack Obama awarded her the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She is a Diamond member of Alpha Kappa Alpha.
The astronaut and physician Dr. Mae Jemison, 60, who became the first African-American woman in space in a 1992 mission aboard the space shuttle Endeavour will also receive her own lego character.
Fun Fact: In true Alpha Kappa Alpha spirit, she carried an Alpha Kappa Alpha banner with her into space with her personal belongings. We’re pretty certain that Lego won’t include that as an accessory but there is no doubt that someone will craft on themselves.
The others characters are:
- computer scientist Margaret Hamilton, 80, who worked on the onboard flight software for the Apollo missions
- astronomer Nancy Grace Roman, 91, known as the “Mother of Hubble” for her role in planning the Hubble Space Telescope
- the late Sally Ride, the first American woman in space in 1983
Lego has approved the minifigures and is currently in development to have this released at a date that has not been yet announced.
We are sure that this set of Legos is going to fly off the shelves! With all of the parents of Black children who are paying extra attention to STEM educations as well as all of the lovely women of AKA out there who are amazing mentors and mothers, you are definitely going to want to get a pre-order because these are guaranteed to sell!
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