Superman had a cape and Batman had a utility belt. For Netflix’s Luke Cage, Marvel’s first black superhero, it’s a black hoodie.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, Mike Colter, who plays Luke Cage, discussed why his character always wears a signature hoodie when fighting crime.
“It’s a nod to [Trayvon Martin], no question,” he said (quotes via The Root). “Trayvon Martin and people like him. People like Jordan Davis, a kid who was shot because of the perception that he was a danger. When you’re a black man in a hoodie, all of a sudden you’re a criminal.”
Colter went on to talk about the double standard black men face in America.
“That’s something we shouldn’t have to deal with, but we do,” he continued. “It’s a double standard. We can’t cover our head when it’s cold and raining because God forbid someone sees us and puts our life in danger. We wanted to pay homage to that—it’s not something we were shying away from.”
While Colter was filming Luke Cage in 2014, footage of Eric Garner being killed by police surfaced, and the show’s producers felt it was necessary to address the issue on the show in an unique way.
“When we were filming this, there were different things going on. Eric Garner, the policemen were acquitted. No one was brought to justice,” he explained. “There was no handing out of any sentence. There are a couple of other things that happened during the time we were filming. We were watching the news, and it was always someone being shot who was unarmed, and there is no justification for it. It’s mind-boggling.”
So while you’re watching Marvel’s Luke Cage, just know that his hoodie symbolizes Black Lives Matter. Power to the people!