‘Black Panther’ Breaks the Oscars’ Superhero Ceiling

History was made this morning when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences unveiled its list of honorees celebrating the films of 2018 and named Black Panther as one of the nominees for Best Picture. While plenty of comic book films have received nominations over the decades, no superhero film had ever been nominated for the most prestigious prize of the night. The Dark Knight came closest in 2009 — winning a posthumous Best Supporting Actor award for Heath Ledger and prompting the Academy to expand its nomination list from five to ten the following year.

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The Walking Dead’s Ongoing Black Man Problem

I wrote in one post during The Nerds of Color’s Walker Week that The Walking Dead is noteworthy for depicting one of the most racially diverse zombie survivor casts to-date: it features a band of survivors that has included (among others) a Mexican family, an Asian Indian doctor, two Deep South “rednecks” (a pejorative term that the Dixon brothers would probably enthusiastically reclaim), a samurai-sword-wielding Black woman, and one of the most progressive characterizations of an Asian man on television. This is a show where women kick ass just as readily as men, and where the divisions of race and class have largely disintegrated in the face of humanity’s near-annihilation.

It’s ironic, therefore, that The Walking Dead could have such a blatant “Black Man problem,” one so obvious it has spawned a million memes.

(This post contains spoilers of all events in The Walking Dead up to Season 4, Episode 3. Please read on with care.)

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