Pop Culture Moment #3: "The Matrix" Gets Black To The Future

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Words by MC

Even though writer Sophia Stewart’s lawsuit against the Wachowski’s was dismissed, no one should have needed a judge to tell them that the block buster film trilogy that was The Matrix, was a black brainchild.

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Let’s examine the facts. The smartest person in the classic 1999 Sci-fi action flick was an old Black woman giving wisdom from the kitchen with a cigarette and a smile. The film called her “the Oracle,” Black people call her Big Mama, Nana, etc.  And if you missed the fact that the Oracle called the PJ’s home base, you couldn’t have missed that the last human city was a Bob Marley tribute named Zion.


Yes, Neo was the ultimate hero, but the big homie who saved, trained, ordered him around? Good old Larry Fishburne! Not to mention that in the distance future Black people weren’t just alive, we were trying to keep the race going. Neo and Trinity were the main love story but almost every other couple in the movie was black or of color. And they didn’t just play around with it. When Link (Harold Perrineau) gets home from a mission to finally see his wife Zee (Nona Gaye) the first thing he says through the door is “Where’s my….” And it wasn’t his puppy.

The cast of the trilogy was rounded out by Marcus Chong (Tank) Anthony Ray Parker (Dozer)  Don Battee (Vector)  Harry Lennix ( Lock ) with cameos  from Roy Jones, Jr. and Dr. Cornel West.

Besides the color lines that got crossed, the ultimate triumph of The Matrix was proof that a diverse cast can actually bring in the dollars for a sci-fi series. Black people didn’t see the inside of the Capt. Kirks Enterprise till Next Generation. But maybe the Matrix’s 1.6 billion dollar earnings will finally show Hollywood that blacks are believable and belong in the future too.

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