But if get the chance to come back reincarnated as something other than a boulder, I’d like to be a magical negro. What is a magical negro you say?
You know what a magical negro is. He (or she, though mostly it’s a he) is the Black gentleperson who shows up to help the white protagonist overcome his demons and rise to the greatness within….then he usually dies, disappears, or becomes Uncle Ruckus.
Zip-a-dee-do-da, zip-a-dee-day, my oh my, what a wonderful day. <;---- Uncle Remus, magical Negro extraordinaire.
Now, contrary to what you may think, I'm a big fan of the magical Negro oeuvre.
(You like that right? How I used oeuvre? All scholarly and sh*t. It was almost magical. RUH-ROH!)
See, I've always felt that The Blacks were a pretty insightful bunch, often being the spirit and soul of a country or the people. Hell, we have soul music. In fact, have you seen Beats, Rhymes, and Life, the documentary about A Tribe Called Quest? Q-Tip called Jarobi the spirit of ATCQ. Black folks...we just like that We are the pulse. We're the funk in your left thigh, trying to become the groove in your right. All that jazz. We're jazz. We're even Jazz being thrown out of the house.
So it stands to reason that if there are a bunch of white people around, that a ninja would show up, drop a cliche about life, the white people have moments of clarity, then the ninja disappears into the water even though we don't swim. In fact, that's my favorite part about magical negroness: the fade out we do. I tried that sh*t in real life. It didn't work so well. Apparently peopel could still see me for like 20 minutes after I started walking away...that's a long time to watch somebody make an exit. It loses its punch after like 20 seconds.
Anyway, since I loves me a good magical negro (I wish they sold them in stores!...actually I'll bet white people which they sold them in stores), here are a few of my favorite magical negroes.
Sidenote: Now that I think about it, I'm pretty sure I'm the magical negro for one of my coworkers. I can't tell you how many times he comes to me for guidance and asks me questions about life. He's also at least 25 years older that me. So maybe I've already gotten my wish, I just didn't realize it because, well I've yet to disappear on him. I'M WHITE, it'll get done! No I'm not. So it won't. Dammit.
1. Bagger Vance
The Legend of Bagger Vance is a great terrible movie. Not that I could see him playing the role anyway, but rumors that Will turned down DJango because of the racism have to be unfounded considering how much shucking and jiving he did as Bagger, who magically(!) showed up out of nowhere and not a soul questioned it at all. He was annoying but special and a total whiz on the golf course. He helped Captain Randolph Junuh overcome his demons and storm back from 12-under (!) against the two best golfers in the world. IN ONE ROUND. On a course where the other two golfers – the two best golfers in the world – can’t break par. As far as magical negroes, go…Bagger is a first ballot hall of famer JUST because of that.
2. John Coffey
The Green Mile is ALSO a great terrible movie. Hmmm, there’s a theme here. I know it’s Stephen King, but still. John Coffey might be the ultimate magical negro in that he “takes it back” and then sends it into the ethos with little flying things that disappear. He took a man’s urinary tract infection and gave his wife back some of that good lovin’. He took “the cancer” from another woman. The only thing he couldn’t take back was death. And he was electrocuted for it even though he didn’t do it. (He was accused of killing two (?) little white girls). Real spit, John Coffey – like the drink, only not spelled the same – might have been the sweetest, nicest giant of a man ever. And I can’t front, when they eletrocuted him, I almost cried. Hell, the prison guards all did. One of the best quotes ever in a great terrible movie, Paul: “On the day of my judgment, when I stand before God, and He asks me why did I kill one of his true miracles, what am I gonna say? That it was my job? My job?” John Coffey: “You tell God the Father it was a kindness you done. I know you hurtin’ and worryin’, I can feel it on you, but you oughta quit on it now. Because I want it over and done. I do. I’m tired, boss. Tired of bein’ on the road, lonely as a sparrow in the rain. Tired of not ever having me a buddy to be with, or tell me where we’s coming from or going to, or why. Mostly I’m tired of people being ugly to each other. I’m tired of all the pain I feel and hear in the world everyday. There’s too much of it. It’s like pieces of glass in my head all the time. Can you understand?”
Five words: “Correction…I know your fatha!”
I’m not sure if Bubba from Forrest Gump qualifies, but he was a simple, sweet, caring, enterprising, young ninja who knew everything there was to know about shrimping and helped Forrest learn it all too. They were a perfect match with Bubba being just boring enough that you likely didn’t cry when he died. Forrest couldn’t save his magical negro, but he did save others trying to and he got the Congressional Medal of Honor. Bubba made Forrest better though I’m sure that’s not who Fab and Ne-yo were talking about in their smash single.
That damn gator took his hand and then his life at the end of the day…hmmm, what is it about magical negroes and golf? The movie, Happy Gilmore. The magic? Well, Chubbs turned Happy into the man who could get his grandma’s house back. Wallah, magic.
Those are my favorite magical Negroes? You got any?
Talk to me. Petey.
-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. WALLAH, MAGIC aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3