Much Respek for Luke Cage’s Anansi (Sahr Ngaujah)

12 08 2018

Hetepu (Peace & Blessings) Family.

Ok. I just finished watching Luke Cage Season 2, and I am not going to spoil it for those who have not seen it, but I thought it was descent.  The best character and the most profound scene was by Sahr Ngaujah who plays the character Anansi. His performance and monologue was so profound that I found it interesting that no one in the “woke” community caught it.

But, before I go into it, this season 2 has several antagonists. First, there is Mariah “Black Mariah” Dillard (Cornell’s “Cottonmouth” Stoke’s cousin) and Hernan “Shades” Alvarez returns from last season, but there is a villain named John “Bushmaster” McIver.

Bushmaster (Luke Cage 2)

Now, Bushmaster is portrayed as a crazed Jamaican who is obsessed with killing Mariah and any other Stokes that is alive. When he first encounters the protagonist Luke Cage, Bushmaster gives him a serious beatdown because he uses a Maroon fighting style known as Bangaran, which is similar to Capoeira minus the “jinga” dancing step. Sidebar: Denzel Washington and Robert Townsend did a form of bangaran in the classic film The Mighty Quinn. Anyway, you find out later that reason Bushmaster is out to kill Mariah is because the Stokes murdered his family and stole his inheritance.

Bushmaster fight Luke Cage

So, like I said, I am not going through the whole season. I am just going to say that the best, the coldest, the most relevant to our situation and the most profound scene that explains most of our situation occurs between in episode 24 “The Creator.”

In the scene, Shades and Mariah kidnaps Bushmaster’s Uncle Paul “Anansi” McIntosh. (Sidebar: Anansi is the name of the Akan Ellegua or trickster spirit who manifests himself as a spider, who became Aunt Nancy in the United States. The name Anansi is also featured in the show American Gods 2 as Mr. Nancy shown above.)

Anansi (Sahr Ngaujah) in Luke Cage 2.

Anyway, they are discussing how her grandfather “Buggy Stokes” stole Bushmaster’s father (Quincy McIver) distillery.

Mariah tells Anansi that afterwards, “The Italian gangsters took the liquor. The Irish cop’s protection but we (Stokes) kept the real-estate.”

Anansi responds saying “Yuh grandfather was a slave.”

Mariah retaliates, “Buggy Stokes was freer than you will ever be.”

Anansi, “That’s the problem with you, Yankee. Yuh nuh have the strength to fight yuh masters dem. Yuh lazy. Yuh content with the scraps. Yuh happy to sing and dance for dem.“

Mariah responds saying, “Oh, please. Every Jamaican talks that Marron bullshit.”

What, y;all didn’t get your freedom–What? 1962. And then you got enslaved by the World Bank.  All you’re known for is Marley, marijuana and murder.

Anansi tells Mariah, “Quincy McIver wanted to fight the Italians and di Irish. Him thought Buggy would’ve had him back.”

Mariah finishes saying, “Buggy could only fight for one family. And he chose the right one.”

And, it is here we see the entire psychological and social issue that most of us suffer from without even noticing. It interesting that none of the “woke” community has even spoke about it.  First, if you ever watched the first season of Luke Cage you know that Mariah has serious self-identity and self-love issues. She rose to power (spoiler alert for those who have not watched  season 1) because her cousin teased her by repeating a horrible nickname “Black Mariah,” which led to his death.  In the beginning of season 2, Mariah is persuaded to make a deal by another Black American gangster who discourages her from working with (paraphrase) “Cigar Smoking Blacks, Caribbean Blacks, Rum Drinking Blacks” (derogatory shots to Blacks in the Caribbean) and encourage her to work only with Mississippi Blacks (American Blacks).

Anansi’s statement to Mariah that, “That’s the problem with you, Yankee. Yuh nuh have the strength to fight yuh masters dem.  Yuh lazy. Yuh content with the scraps. Yuh happy to sing and dance for dem.“

She totally missed what Anansi was saying because like most people she did not know her history. The Maroon’s is a generic and derogatory term from the Spanish word cimarrón, that was corrupted in English to maroon to mean “wild, unruly and runaway slave.”

Family. The Maroons were not a single or separate race of people. They were Africans forcefully brought to the Americans and forced to be slaves, who had had enough and fled into the wild to make their own life. Many of the “Maroons” banded with the indigenous people of the land and built numerous communities all throughout the Americas and they warred with the Europeans to defend their land.  This is reflected in Bushmaster who has hazel colored eyes, was blessed by his grandmother who was an Obeah woman, etc.

Most people have only vaguely heard of the Jamaican Maroon community and think that the term Maroon only refers to escaped Africans there.  But, there were Maroons they escaped and settled with the Taino in Haiti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, and Puerto Rico. The Maroons in the United States were the infamous Seminoles in Florida, that no one wants to really talk about. Not to mention the Africans who joined forces with the indigenous in Louisiana and Mississippi.  In fact, any African American who has an affinity with the Native American spirit Black Hawk will be surprised to find that it has nothing to do with how many are portraying him. It is drawing back to this Maroon spiritual connection, which means you may have some African ancestry who were Maroons.

Maroon culture promoted in Jamaica courtesy of http://etn.travel/jamaicas-tourism-promote-maroon-festival-9112/

There were Maroon cultures in Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua, and their descendants are the Garifuna.  There were Maroon cultures in Panama, Columbia, Ecuador and in Brazil, the most famous Maroon culture was called Palmares home of the legendary leader Zumbi dos Palmares, rumored to be the birthplace of the contemporary Capoeira.

There were also Maroons in Mexico where the most famous Angolan Maroon leader, Yanga Gaspar, was said to have beat the Spanish so bad that it led to a peace treaty, which eventually led to Mexico winning its independence. Yanga Gaspar is honored today in Veracruz, Mexico with a statue There were even Maroon communities in Canada.

In Jamaica the “Maroons” had two pivotal wars against the British that eventually led to the British signing a peace treaty with them. Jamaica’s independence had nothing to do with the Maroons but they tried to tie the two together to make “selling out” looking appeasing and make our indigenous culture look primitive, backwards and unimportant.

Killmonger of Black Panther

Again, it was another tip of the Marvel hat to put down indigenous African culture and African mindsets as they had done with the Killmonger character in Black Panther.

It makes you ask the question that if our indigenous mindset (culture and spirituality) is so primitive, backwards and unimportant, why don’t let us be?

It is because they know that it is not. The Maroon culture is the only culture within the Americas that has flipped the system because they know that they are the only ones who are mentally and spiritually free. Understand, Maroon culture focuses on going within. In fact, all throughout the series Anansi keeps reminding Bushmaster that true power comes from within.

The Maroons all over the Afro-Diaspora are the ones who understood that anyone you allow to give you your freedom is your slave master, and this is what Mariah missed as she was applauding her grandfather who murdered his own just to settle for scraps from the Italians and Irish mobs.

Family. I hope that this has inspired you to take a deeper look at Maroon culture so that you can understand what it really means to be mentally and spiritually free.  A lot of effort is being made so that we do not return to our original spiritual mindset. This world has nothing to offer us because our genius is within.

Don’t be fooled into thinking otherwise.

Hetepu.

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