I just started watching The Walking Dead. Andrea is pure trash. In fact, Andrea is to Mischonne what white women have historically been to black women — in the damn way.
Season 2 ended with Andrea being left to fend for herself at the farm. Her group was ambushed by a vicious herd of walkers at the farm house, causing them to evacuate. They scattered and realized she’d been left — and probably eaten — when they reassembled. Because I liked Andrea at the time, I shed a thug tear. Season 3 begins, finally introducing me to the bad-ass Michonne I’ve heard about. That skilled sister is the female, modern day version of Shaft with locs. She is flawless in beauty, survival, and execution of those gut-eating biters. In her quest to stay alive, somehow she found Andrea, who was helpless and near death. The girl needed saving, so Michonne did what we do and saved her.
The two warriors — because I’m not gonna act like Andrea didn’t kick ass when she was able — became friends and survived for 8 months. Read: Michonne kept them alive for 8 long, and some cold, months. When her instincts were off, the duo moved to a safer location. When biters trudged along, she macheted the hell out of them. When they were low on ammo and supplies, sis left Andrea in said safe location and procured what they needed. Michonne’s so brilliant, she enslaved two zombies to keep the others away from them. Michonne is like that magical auntie that makes everything better when you’re mad at your mama. She’s tough as nails but has your back when she cares about you. In real life, I want to befriend her and get mimosas.
In a terrorist attack, Michonne and Andrea are taken hostage by Merle, a racist prick, to Woodbury. With all the death that’s happened up to this point, Woodbury is like the Twilight Zone and a God-send. There’s food, water, electricity, clean rooms, civilized people, and safe living quarters. Andrea, still bruised and downtrodden, quickly forgets about Merle kidnapping her when she realizes air conditioner and running water are on the line. She thanked Merle for his services and got comfortable in Woodbury. The whole time Michonne is like, “Nah! These white people are up to something,” and is ready to keep it moving. But sis couldn’t leave because they confiscated her machete. And a warrior goddess needs her damn weapon.
Andrea convinces Michonne to stay overnight. Then another night. The whole time, our dreaded sis is planning an escape. Every time she sharpens her plan, Andrea is all like, “But we’ve dreamed of a place like this for so long. Girl, let’s just stay and conform!” By this point, my spidey senses are tingling, too, and I want Auntie ‘Chonne to get the hell out of dodge. Because one thing Black people know more than anything is when to leave!
Now Michonne is looking at Andrea like this:
She’s disgusted and so am I. Michonne’s gut has kept them alive thus far and she reminded Andrea of that. But Andrea is white womaning the situation so bad she can’t see the forest for the trees. The “Governor”, the appointed leader of Woodbury, is a homicidal nutjob who wants to control the 73 people in the town. He’s taken their weapons, deflects hard questions, and taunts them with a sickening hoard of zombies. As long as they’re safe, these townspeople are unbothered and Andrea is becoming one of them.
Governor knows Auntie Chonne will be a problem. After all, it’s only taken her a few days to break into his room to learn that he’s keeping his zombie daughter, Penny, in a cage. She found his secret surplus of caged biters. She knows he’s lying about how they recently stumbled on heavy artillery and army vehicles. She felt fresh bullet holes and gunpowder after touching one of the damn army vehicles. MICHONNE IS UP ON GAME…and on her way out of Woodbury.
During their final conversation, Michonne asks Andrea, “Bih, are you coming or not?” The answer is no and the two part ways.
How closely Andrea and Michonne’s relationship represents so many encounters between black and white women is uncanny. From the days of slavery to this year’s Women’s March on Washington, Black women have always done the work, included white women in allyship or because they needed saving, and have been left out to dry. We get shit done — hello, 94% of Black women voters — and are rarely thanked for it.
Once Andrea found her saving grace in Woodbury (and Governor Psycho’s peen) her protector suddenly needed to become less paranoid and “relax”. A slap in the face would have been more dignified than to leave Michonne hanging after all she’d sacrificed. To that end, I felt no remorse when Milton Mamet tore into her flesh. And moments before her self-inflicted death, Michonne was there in spite of the betrayal holding her hand with a forgiving heart like we always do.
Ariel C. Williams is the founding editor-in-chief of Slay Culture. She’s a millennial who’s down for the culture, loves Netflix, and pegs Master P as one of her entrepreneurial heroes. Buy her book The Girl Talk Chronicles here. Follow her at @ArielSaysNow everywhere.