When watching TV, especially American television, POC are often relegated to being nothing more than a sidekick, an advisor to the usually, Caucasian main character without a semblance of a personal life themselves. So when Michonne was introduced, she was shown as being a tough fighter, a warrior of sorts, and people paid attention to that because it was something they knew and were accustomed to seeing. She held no real value outside of her fighting skills to them. Even when she was getting some development and being shown as a complex character with her own flaws, they ignored that because they doubted that she would last.
I would say that even the people who read the comics, and are familiar with her comic counterpart, doubted her as well because a TV show and a comic book are two different mediums with different rules. In the comics, it’s fine for a black woman to exist and continue to thrive but on a television show, it’s a foreign concept. Even if the black woman is being treated well by the writers in the beginning the writers will sideline her for a white character (ex. Lacey Porter, Abbie Mills), they’ll be used as a plot device and discarded when they are not needed (ex. Bonnie Bennett), or the fandom will try to remove them from the narrative (ex. Iris West and I’ll include Scott McCall, a latino male, in here because I hate the Teen Wolf fandom and their racist asses). Honestly this happens so much that I’ve become cautious of forming an emotional attachment to nonwhite characters, especially a WOC.
There are two popular tropes for Black Women: The sidekick and the mammy (there are more but I chose those two). But Michonne’s character defied a lot of them. She is a dark-skinned woman who is shown to be soft and gentle as much as she is shown to be a fighter. She wasn’t and still isn’t just a trope.
The writers didn’t have her be Ricks right hand woman. She didn’t just exist to support him, be by his side in fights. She wasn’t around to just his kids. I know some people feel like she was a mammy but I disagree with them. As others have said her relationship with the Grimes children has been about her development and growth more than it was about the children needing a babysitter. Not only that but the narrative painted her as being more than just someone to watch the kids. Her bond with Carl specifically, the writers showed that she cared for him and that he also cared for her as well. And she wasn’t always with the kids, after 4b she had a episode with Carl and Judith when she watched them at the church and she rarely interacted with the kids afterwards. Tyreese was more of a babysitter than Michonne. The writers may have desexualized her character, by not having her in a relationship or by not having anyone flirt with her. But Michonne was not a mammy. (SHE WAS NOT A MAMMY).
A lot of people were shocked that Michonne wasn’t treated like she was disposable. They never thought much of Michonne as a character and they certainly never thought that she would be with Rick. (Honestly, even as a shipper, I feared that Richonne would never happen because Michonne was not white; she wasn’t the typical woman who is often shown to be ‘worthy’ of being loved.). Michonne always had to prove herself: she had to show that she was a loyal member of Team Family and she had to prove, to some, that she was ‘deserving’ of being Rick’s love interest. She will never be good enough for them. I’ve seen some people say that she isn’t feminine enough and other things I don’t want to delve into.
The same people who didn’t pay attention to Michonne before, the same people who laughed at the prospect of Richonne, are the ones who want her dead. She was supposed to be there to fill the quota, to be the Black woman and that’s it. But Michonne is more than that and they are not comfortable with that so she has to be the one to die. There’s no way TWD would keep their main character with “someone like Michonne” (I use quotation marks because I’ve heard that said often).
Those “Negan kills Michonne” people are hoping that she dies. Some hide their bs by saying that Michonne dying makes sense because she ran out of story to tell, but wanting Michonne dead has nothing to do with the story. They hate the fact that the black chick is being treated like she’s an actual character on the show. They are counting on those tropes, on the fact that American television constantly mistreats Black women, and they are waiting for Michonne, and her fans, to be reminded of where their place is..
Happy Birthday Wayne Brady! (June 2)
Racist white people love telling black Americans to go back to Africa like our ancestors voluntarily went on a 3 day cruise across the Atlantic Ocean and decided not to go back to Africa because they loved it in the West.
Gina Torres in ‘Xena: Warrior Princess’ (1995).
I am still trying to get a trailer for this or stream it or something:
okay so russell t davis has done a version of a midsummer nights dream that’s currently on bbc1 and not only is it set in a radical dictatorship which is super cool, with hippolyta, oberon, puck, hermia, demetrius and a number of the main mechanicals and fairys all played by poc, but:
Anyone who thinks that this is somehow not in the spirit of the original is being incredibly disingenuous