The Black Panther Discussion

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen my friend ‘James’. On another blog we discussed M.A.N.T.I.S., a television program back in the 1990’s about a paralyzed Black scientist who puts on an exoskeleton to fight crime. It didn’t last long, of course. Don’t worry, because Marvel Studios has caused ‘woke’ Black bruthas and sistahs to dust off their dashikis, pump their fists and scream……oh, it’s not that kind of movie? So I found James after thirteen years and we’re talking about the next great Black superhero movie.

Chas: James, how’ve you been? I haven’t seen you since 2005! Remember when we talked about M.A.N.T.I.S., that Black superhero show that used to be on Fox?

James: Yeah, the one where he had two African assistants in the pilot only to have them taken out of the regular series once it was approved by two white assistants? Yeah, I remember.

Chas: What about how the show ended? Wasn’t that weak?

James: Dude, he was stomped by a dinosaur! I’ll tell you white folks play evil man. He didn’t even get to keep that trench coat he wore in the pilot! They are so wrong!

Chas: Thirteen years later, we have Black Panther from Marvel Studios. Bruthas and sistas are determined to see this movie no matter what! What about you? You plan on going?

James: Does the Black Panther wear a trench coat like my boy M.A.N.T.I.S.?

Chas: Uh nope. He does wear a bullet proof costume though. He could have used that in any issue he appeared in my stack of my 1970’s Avengers comics.

James: If he doesn’t wear a trench coat even for five minutes, I’m out. White folks need to give Black superheroes some class man.

Chas: You know how much social media is going to blow up on February 16, the release date. You wouldn’t watch it because he’s not wearing a trench coat………

James: Think about it. I’ve heard righteous brothers said they don’t plan on seeing the movie because A) he was created by a white man and b) the Panther doesn’t wear a trench coat.

Chas: I can see why folks wouldn’t go to see the film. They have their reasons, but they should let us decide for ourselves whether or not it’s worth it. They do understand that Virgil Tibbs (The Heat of the Night), Shaft and Hawk were all created from the minds of white men right? John Ball, Ernest Tidyman and Robert B. Parker. Even M.A.N.T.I.S. was created by Sam Raimi who directed the Evil Dead and Spider Man movies.

James: That dude? He’s the one who thought up our boy?

Chas: Yep, and I didn’t hear from the righteous crowd from the 1960’s to 1990’s telling us to boycott those television shows and movies. But hey, maybe one day I’ll create my own iconic character so if he or she ever makes it to film, there won’t be an excuse not to come out and support.

James: You know there are going those people who say we shouldn’t watch it. I’m still on the fence because………

Chas: The trench coat thang, yeah I got you on that.

James: Seriously though, I saw on the movie poster that the movie is going to be written and directed by a Black man. I have no problem with that. My problem is that when they change things around after the movie or TV show is out.

Chas: If I see it, I would like to see the changes later writers like Christopher Priest, Reginald Hudlin and the late, great Dwayne McDuffie contributed to T’Challa (the Black Panther’s real name) back in the early 2000’s long before there was a movie. These creative bruthas gave him an upgrade and new motivations to his character. If I plan on seeing the movie, it’s because of those writers. I follow them and they do great work.

James: I second that my brutha, but still…..they should have given him a trench coat! That would have been a sweet upgrade!

Chas: I think Marvel should be careful when trying to sneak in an agenda that not everyone is ready for, if ever. It should be all about the characters, nuff said. If there’s some political strife that threatens to tear Wakanda apart, write about it.

James: Yeah, I caught a snippet that Ta-Nehisi Coates is writing his stories now. For his sake, he better give the Panther a trench coat or I’ll be mad!

Chas: Chill with the trench coat nonsense man! LOL. Whether it’s Don McGregor or Coates, all we ask for is for great character development, challenging plots and action! Lots of it! I can’t get enough action! Marvel left that back in the early 2000’s and that was their bread and butter back in the day!

James: You mean Stan Lee was getting all the bread from the books he wrote and the butter? Anyone not named Stan Lee.

Chas: It’s only a month left, but do you plan on seeing Black Panther?

James: Still on the fence. I know there’s a ton of great actors in it, but there are some things I need to check out for myself before I decide to give the Mouse my money. I hope it’s not another M.A.N.T.I.S. or it’s like Shaft. You know it was twenty-seven years before the so-called ‘powers that be’ filmed another Shaft movie. When they did, it was WEAK!

Chas: Wesley Snipes, the candidate for that role made it plain why. It’s on the internet.

James: At least Carl Lumbly, our boy on M.A.N.T.I.S. found some work.

Chas: Yeah, ‘Alias’ was a good spot for him. That is until we hear some ‘behind the scenes’ commentary on YouTube.

James: Tru that. About that time C, we’ll find out in a month. Black Panther fans, keep calling and email Marvel to insist he wears a trench coat in the movie in memory of M.A.N.T.I.S!

Chas: You’re too much James. Hope it’s not another thirteen years before we have another conversation. Chas out!

Charles L. Chatmon
Who played the part of ‘Chas’
President, Chatmon’s Books

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Posted by on January 18, 2018 in Uncategorized


The Unpopular King


Eloquent speaker, I Have a Dream, the marches to Selma, Montgomery, you name it we’ll tell our children about the man who was named Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr and his call of equality for all. As written before on this blog, there are supporters of the good doctor who emphasize the need to remind ourselves of the constant struggle of our basic rights as his detractors, older, richer and playfully use his quotes to further their agendas and stifle others. But this entry isn’t about that. It’s about the times Dr. King wasn’t popular, wasn’t taken seriously or that the message got ‘too old’.

When the news cameras flash, microphones thrushed to the mouths of our children, they’ll mention the typical ear-soothing comments about Dr. King in that ‘he was a fighter for justice’, ‘he wanted all people to live together’ and ‘he had a dream that we should be the same’. You know how it goes. If you don’t, watch your television screens highlighting any King Day Parade and see what the attendees say.

Back in college I remember reading Letter From Birmingham Jail and what caught my eye were the comparisons made between Dr. King and the apostle Paul. Both were thrown in jail for what they believed in, they involved in their spiritual missions met with stiff oppositions from the governments they served under. As Dr. King exhorted the churches not to ‘wait’ – a word my parents and late grandparents heard once too often – the suggestion is that we cannot wait, a very unpopular view in the eyes of Southerners who detested the so-called ‘agitators’ ruining their Jim Crow status quo, their way of life. No eloquent speech can replace the lingering frustration of the non-response of Dr. King’s noncommittal spiritual brethren.

There are a pair of clippings saved in my folder that I lifted from an old L.A. Times microfilm in my college days. One clipping is from Dr. King’s visit in the midst of the Watts Unrest of 1965. By that time, people were angry and upset. What worked in the South didn’t work for the southern section of Los Angeles, according to the hecklers who greeted the good doctor as he tried to make his appeal to the citizens in a local meeting shortly after the firestorm. Could you imagine if you were Dr. King standing in the middle of your own people and viewing from your own eyes how much they wanted to ‘burn’ rather than seek nonviolent means, a method you adhered to? It was the bittersweet of all bittersweet ironies; just as he urged the churches in his letter not to ‘wait’, the citizens of Watts didn’t want to wait either.



We’ll continue to watch films and reenactments on the historic March on Washington and the ‘I Have a Dream’ speech and in between the “Mountaintop” speech the night before he died, but we never really see what happened in the five years between 1963 and 1968. Perhaps those years are too painful to watch because it reveals a deeper truth about ourselves; we only remember the messenger at his height, but never during his descent for we are the ones who caused it. Consider: after the Civil Right measures were passed, the failed attempt to desegregate the North, the growing impatience with the nonviolent method to achieve anything past Civil Rights, the emergence of the Black Power Movement, the violent civil unrests unfolding around the country, criticizing the Vietnam War, etc. I don’t know how much of a toll I could take if I were in his shoes, but within that five year period, so much change, anxiousness, that it is a wonder he was able to continue to persevere through it all. I guess that’s the true measure of a leader; to continue the fight although the troops may not follow your example.

In order to show how special Dr. King was, we have to include it all; the joys of defeating an unjust law, winning a fight for equal rights and pushing across legislation that aimed to promote equality. We have to show the tremendous struggle against wily Northern politicians, our own growing frustration with the philosophy of nonviolence, and the result of his life’s work in this year, 2008 A.D.; one step forward, five steps back.

Continue to show the speeches, the marches, and repeat the quotes but we have to ‘keep it real’ and show that at times he seemed one man against a world he hoped to change and almost succeeded. If we’re going to remember the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr on this day, perhaps we should make the one courageous act we dare not try lest it would be deemed as not cool or just plain whack. Nevertheless, Dr. King didn’t try for a popularity contest, he just ‘wanted to do God’s Will’. What is that one courageous act then?

Follow his example, even in the eyes of many, seen as unpopular.

Charles L. Chatmon
President, Chatmon’s Books

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Posted by on January 15, 2018 in Uncategorized


The Mistake in ‘Claiming’ a New Year


I’m teasing the peeps I know on social media that ‘instead of claiming 2018, just go ahead and take care of business’. I didn’t exactly say those exact words, but doesn’t it just puzzle you that folks online will make these declarations only to find themselves making the same declarations the following year? For example:

“It’s 2016. I’m going to claim this year as my own. I’m going to speak it into existence.”
“It’s 2017. I’m going to claim this year as my own. I’m going to speak it into existence.”
“It’s 2018. I’m going to claim this year as my own. I’m going to speak it into existence.”
“It’s 2019. I’m going to claim this year as my own. I’m going to speak it into existence.”
“It’s 2020. I’m going to claim this year as my own. I’m going to speak it into existence.”

And so on, and so on…..

I’m finding out that instead of establishing a big goal or task early in the new year, it’s best to accomplish it piece by piece. Attempting to go for the ‘home run’ is a surefire way to discourage you and cause you to consider putting it off until ‘tomorrow’ which we know may never come.

Yes, this may be your year but take it easy. As it is said, ‘slow and easy wins the race’ and it will help take care of your plans for 2018.

Good luck in making this new year yours! Make it the best for yourself and others!

C.L. Chatmon

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Posted by on January 8, 2018 in Uncategorized


The Easy Way to Write! (Just for Fun!)


Here’s the easy way to be a writer for the 18:

Sit down
Turn off all distractions (that means you too social media and internet)
Take a minute to think about what you’re going to write about
Focus, concentrate and write!
Just like that, you’re finished! On to the next project!

If writing was only this easy, there would be no problem with producing the work (smile).

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Posted by on January 7, 2018 in Uncategorized


Final Thoughts of 2017

-A few words from the owner and president –

First and foremost, I’d like to thank God The Father for allowing me to live throughout 2017. Yes, I believe in God, and He matters.

I would like to thank Him for not only life, but the blessings he’€™s given my family. If we are allowed to see 2018, it will be a challenging year for not only myself, but my family as the last few days has shown me.

Storm Over South Central will be out! I’m not sure of the date, but it will include a discussion series of The Changing Face of South Los Angeles which will explain some of the topics in Storm as well as issues not found in the book, but should be discussed. I’€™m looking forward to this.

You know, I’m going to say this and leave it at the door. Anyone who will have a problem, has an issue, disagrees with anything I’€™ve written or will write; I encourage debate. This is something we do not stress anymore since we as human beings, Americans, seem entrenched in our extremes as far as beliefs, political views, etc. Social media has caused all of us to not enjoy the freedom of speech and the freedom to debate logically. This must end. This must stop.

This is going to be a long, hard fight. Perhaps futile, but I’€™m willing to hold on to my freedom of writing what needs to be said….at the sake of everything else.

That’€™s it. Have a Happy New Year.

Charles L.Chatmon
President, owner, Chatmon’s Books

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Posted by on December 27, 2017 in Uncategorized


A Conversation with Charles Chatmon Jr. (Poetry International Online)

Hey peeps, I’m a featured interview in the latest Poetry International Online

(Of course, they decided to go with the author name of the Depths of CCJ instead of the updated version of CLC, but I’m not complaining!)

My interview with the talented Dee Alston was a pleasure! I look forward to her future endeavors. Thanks a lot Dee!

Remember, 2018 means the #StormOverSC is for real and inside the interview, I mention a few words of you readers will find in the anthology.

Until then, best of the holidays to you!

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Posted by on December 23, 2017 in Uncategorized


Storm Over South Central Update, November 2017

Charles Book Cover 3-1 YES

UPDATE 11/26/17

You would think by this time I would announce my first (or second) book signings for Storm Over South Central, but I regret to inform you that I have to move the publishing date (again) due to personal reasons. I plan to release Storm by Spring or Summer 2018 which means I’m going to miss the 2018 book fair season which really disappoints me (don’t smile). I do want to get this anthology ‘right’ so it’s worth the sacrifice.

Along with the book signings, I plan to hold a series of discussions about the changing face of South Los Angeles and other communities taking place. Most of the subject matter will be taken from several poems or short stories from Storm.

In the meantime, I’ll keep you informed the closer I get to actual completion. Rest assured for those of you who’ve been following me all these years, the wait is truly almost over! #StormOverSC

Charles L. Chatmon
Author, President of Chatmon’s Books

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Posted by on November 26, 2017 in Uncategorized

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