If there’s one thing I love in life it’s Black movies. I can’t get enough. I like it, I love, I want more of it. It’s like that. In fact, my Netflix queue is full of movies that most people don’t know exist, and largely for good reason. But me? Naw, I want to see more productions by people who are just trying to create riveting entertainment that will stand the test of time.
Now, most directors and movies fail horribly at creating anything worth remembering, much less seeing again. However, they’re all chasing that elusive goal of creating a piece of art that inspires ripples through the community through development of characters and story lines that impact our lives. So with that in mind – and as I hope to one day create one of these movies – I created a list of the 10 most iconic Black movie characters, post blaxpoitation. You may disagree with a few of these, but that’s what makes for good television. Well, actually today what makes for good television is crazy women talking about who shook the table and what not. And pure ratchetness. But that’s another talk show. Moving on…here’s the definitively debatable list of characters that have changed your life.
1. Darius Lovehall (Love Jones)
This character has single-handedly ruined more relationships than any other on this list. Ever since Love Jones (the quintessential educated ninja Black movie) dropped, every. single. woman. has wanted to date a man like Darius. You know the guy…actually you don’t, because he doesn’t exist. He’s the perfect mix of intelligence and cool and artiness and focus and hell, everything. And the ninja makes omelets. Who can compete with that? Yeah, he’s #1.
2. Madea (The Tyler Perry Suite)
Did this ninja Panama lose his mind?? No, he didn’t and suck my left toe. Like it or love it, Madea is iconic. Nobody said this individual had to be positive or negative. But Tyler Perry wasn’t no fool. He created a character that nearly EVERYBODY knows, white or Black, who either makes people cringe in disgust or laugh in understanding. My parents love Madea. I hate Madea. If that isn’t success, I don’t know what is. Anyway, we all know somebody like Madea and she’s invaded our consciousness. Sucks for us.
3. Nina Mosley (Love Jones)
This may or may not be accurate, while Darius Lovehall is THE Black movie character and sh*t, Nina was more or less a siren for his intricacies. She allowed us the ability to get to know him as the unicorn that he is. I don’t know that she truly shined as anything more than a muze. But any muze that could create the most beloved Black male in history right after MLK and Malcolm X…and Obama, well, she deserves some credit as being written and created perfectly for him. It helped that Nia Long had that one scene where she wasn’t wearing a bra and sitting in the window. I haven’t watched this movie in years and I remember that vividly.
4. Smokey (Friday)
Not sure anything has to be said here. I mean, it’s Smokey. He was the most outrageous character in an outrageous movie with more one liners than Mitt Romney impersonating a presidential candidate. His energy alone made him an automatic mainstay in quotables and our consciousness. Plus, he let us know that Red was going to cry in the car AND that he had mind control over Debo…two lines that I used to hear weekly in conversations with white people studying to become friars.
5. O’Dog (Menace II Society)
That damn Larenz Tate sure was diverse. He’s both the most beloved and one of the most concerning characters in Black movie history. O’Dog was “young, Black, and just didn’t give a f*ck” and had the nerve to almost curse in religious household. While we were afraid of his potential, we also respected him…especially for telling Kaine not to be “actin’ like a little ho” when it was time to put in work. He was the originator of the true Cali Swag district.
6. Nino Brown (New Jack City)
He probably could go to the top 2, but whatever. Nino Brown is one of THE scariest ninjas on the planet because he had only money on his mind to detriment of all else. Hell, he’s the impetus for three Lil Wayne album titles. A movie from 1991 made its presence felt in the late 2000s (never mind that Lil Wayne’s last name is Carter). Plus, I’ve been telling ninjas to cancel motherf*ckers ever since. Nino Brown was not his brother’s keeper. Well, at least not after he had to kill him.
7. Bishop (Juice)
He could probably be #1 on most lists of most iconic. Tupac played the HELL out of this role. So much so that we learned he was never in character; he WAS Bishop. He was crazy. And he didn’t give a f*ck. And for worse, a lot of young Black men could relate. That hightop step fade he had was a bad look though.
8. Doughboy (Boyz N The Hood)
Of all the characters in Boyz N The Hood, the only two that truly mattered were Dough and the cop that hated Black people. Ricky and Trey were cool, but Ricky’s best shot at iconic was getting shot, and I live in DC. That happens all the time. But Dough was a conflicted character who was struggling with his moral compass and just wanted love, you know while he wasn’t out there doing dumb sh*t. But those thug tears when he shot the ninja that killed Ricky? That was poetic. Plus he delivered the most significant lines in Black movie history: “either they don’t know, don’t show, or just don’t care about what goes on in the hood.” Classico.
9. Marcus Graham (Boomerang)
Okay, this list makes no sense. Because he could totally be #2 or #3 and I have him at #9. Reason being? Somehow I forgot that Boomerang even existed despite it being one of my favorite movies. I suck. So what? But Marcus Graham is THE man. Until he isn’t. And then is again once he learns how to be his true self and find happiness in the heart of a woman. Yadda yadda, he was who 90 percent of us envisioned being before Darius told us we all needed to become poets. Forget the corporate job, let’s all get notebooks!
10. Celie & Mister (The Color Purple)
Controversial double pick here, but seriously, them ninjasÂ – hell the whole cast of this movie needs its own article – are the shining of example of life gone wrong and making both the best and worst out of the hand your dealt. Plus, Mister forced Celie to become the woman with “the fingers”.
Alright, that’s my list. What say you? And who do you think are the most iconic Black movie characters??
The floor is open.
-VSB P aka THE ARSONIST aka MR. THESE MOVIES BE ACTIN’ UP aka GIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRL HE A 3