by Da CogNegro
From Uncle Remus to God himself (Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty), the Magical Negro trope has been utilized in film for quite some time. The term became popular during Spike Lee's college speaking tour. The term refers to a character who comes to the aid of the protagonist and usually possess wisdom in the form of sage advice or utilizing supernatural powers. The Magical Negro is usually introduced when the protagonist is at his or her lowest point. He or she then begins a persistent quest or journey to aid the protagonist, even if it means sacrificing him or herself to do so! Here are five notable Magical Negros for you to analyze "boss"!
Movie: What Dreams May Come
This Negro's Real Name: Cuba Gooding Jr.
Acts of Magic and Good Will: When Chris Neilsen, played by Robin Williams, is transported to heaven, Albert Lewis, as his new navigator, helps Chris adapt to the afterlife by teaching him about his new existence and traveling through various dream realms.
Movie(s): Final Destination, Final Destination 2, Final Destination 5
This Negro's Real Name: Tony Todd
Acts of Magic or Good Will: Bludworth shows up in various capacities informing the movie's hapless victims of the rules and actions of the entity known as Death!
Movie: The Legend of Beggar Vance
This Negro's Real Name: Will Smith
Acts of Magic or Good Will: When Rannulph Junah, played by Matt Damon, returns from a World War I, he is a battered man who now lives in seclusion and abandons the game he once loved and thrived in: golf. Beggar, in the form of a magical caddie, not only aids Rannulph in battling his personal demons, but also assist him in, once again, becoming an exceptional golfer!
This Negro's Real Name: Whoopi Goldberg
Acts of Magic or Good Will: Initially believed to be a con-artist posing as a psychic, it is revealed that Oda Mae really does possess the ability to speak with the dead when Sam Wheat, played by Patrick Swayze, is able to communicate with her after he is murdered by a mugger. Oda Mae winds up being the conduit between Wheat and Molly Jensen, played by Demi Moore. She proves to successfully aid Jensen in avoiding perilous situations and eventually reuniting, albeit temporarily, her with Wheat before he leaves for heaven permanently.
Movie: The Green Mile
This Negro's Real Name: Micheal Clarke Duncan
Acts of Magic or Good Will: In the film, Coffey is wrongly accused of rape and murder. Throughput the film, it is revealed that he possess special powers which includes, but not limited to, healing, clairvoyant abilities, and resurrection. When he enables Paul Edgecomb, played by Tom Hanks, to see who really committed the crimes, Coffey has the opportunity to be freed from execution. But due to his sensitive nature, he decides that death will be his release from this current state because he is "rightly tired of pain". Duncan's portrayal of Coffey is one that is timid, docile, and subservient. Such characteristics are in total contrast to his hulking appearance!
Well, I'm off folks to practice some magic myself!
CogNegro Out -CgN