Michael B. Jordan under fire after saying Black folklore does not exist
Michael B Jordan's recent magazine interview drew criticism from fans after he uttered a statement that shed light on his ignorance. The actor was quoted as saying black folklore does not exist which prompted his fans to teach him a lesson.
Michael B. Jordan may have gained a huge following for his portrayal of the villain in “Black Panther” but he just lost a slice of his fan base for his seeming lack of knowledge of Black history.
THE STATEMENT THAT STARTED IT ALL
In Jordan’s recent article for his Vanity Fair cover, he shed light on his efforts to promote Black culture in mainstream media through his production company, Outlier Society, but he also drew attention to the fact that there’s a lot he didn’t know about it.
In the interview, Jordan was quoted as saying,
“We don’t have any mythology, Black mythology, or folklore. Creating our own mythology is very important because it helps dream.”
THE BACKLASH THAT FOLLOWED
The statement which was tweeted by Vanity Fair to promote his cover drew out a wave of criticism towards the star for his seeming ignorance of the existence of Black folklore. One user who pointed this out wrote,
“Umm yikes. @michaelb4jordan we have plenty of folklore and mythology. Read Zora Neale Hurston. Do a little research.”
And here were other responses slamming the actor.
Mike sounding very Kanye-esque with that statement... No Black mythology or folklore?!?! Can we please get some Black journalists to engage these artists??? pic.twitter.com/U4yTRjKWnU— Black All Year Long Drew (@DrewMcCaskill) October 5, 2018
My mother read this to me so many times we had to buy a second copy. I wish every black child had this book. pic.twitter.com/jMIbOILBU7— Octavia (@octaviadelany) October 5, 2018
THE TRUTH ABOUT BLACK FOLKLORE
While many started to educate Jordan on the existing literature on black folklore pointing his direction towards links and books he could refer to, some also came to his defense to say that it’s not unusual to be unaware of the extent of Black folklore. Actress Reagan Preston-Gomez tweeted,
“None of us are experts on Black American culture even if your people go back generations.”
“A lot of us didn’t even know about Katherine Johnson, Dorthy & Mary til the movie came out. Many Folks who grew up in that area didn’t even know. Is it really that hard to believe that some amazing stories exist or some shit happened that inspired folklore & we don’t know??”
None of us are experts on Black American culture even if your people go back generations. 400 plus years?? Our tales, fables & folklore is out there. Talk to the old folks in your family. Record them so their voices can live on long after you’re gone.— Reagan Gomez (@ReaganGomez) October 5, 2018
THE BIG PICTURE
Regardless of his lack of knowledge of Black folklore, Jordan’s goals are admirable. Two years ago, he formed his own production company to give other black artists a chance to tell their stories. Explaining his motives to Vanity Fair, he said,
"I'm first and foremost a black man, for sure, but what I'm trying to do, and what I'm trying to represent and build, is universal. We live in the times where everything is based around race. And for me, it's like, I get it. I understand. It just makes everything so loaded. When the way to do it is to Trojan-horse it, so then people look up, and say, 'Oh wow, what happened? I didn't even realize that.'"
THE OTHER MISCONCEPTIONS
This isn’t the first time Jordan was slammed for something he said or did. Last February, he was also criticized for apparently still living with his parents, his love for anime and even his height. At the time, the actor clapped back at his critics by correcting their misconceptions and setting strings straight in a tweet.
“First of All I’m 6ft and they live with ME, put some respeck on my name. LOL...aaaand goku & naruto are real ones lol.”
First of All I’m 6ft and they live with ME, put some respeck on my name. LOL...aaaand goku & naruto are real ones 🙌🏾 lol https://t.co/QspyHD2zwH— Michael B. Jordan (@michaelb4jordan) February 23, 2018
Jordan’s mother has lupus and his father is diabetic. This is primarily the reason why the actor opted to have them living with him. This and the fact that Jordan wanted them to live in a beautiful home. He’s always dreamed of buying them their own home.
However, just this week, the actor revealed to Ellen DeGeneres that he was moving out of his Sherman Oaks mansion. He admitted that although there are advantages to living with his parents such as home-cooked meals and being close to them, there are also moments when uncomfortable run-ins in the middle of the night make him wish he was living alone. Jordan is reportedly moving to a penthouse in downtown Los Angeles.