Lists, Theory & Essay

six most important black movies of the last 30 years

last week, panama blessed the verysmart pulpit with 10 songs all black people should know. today, i’ll walk you all through my beautiful mind as we take a look at the six most important black movies of the last 30 years (why six? because today’s january 16th. duh).

before i continue, i want to make a couple things clear:

1. by “black movie”, i’m referring to movies with themes that are specifically black.

to expound: if you took the same premise and replaced every black actor and actress in the flick with whites, could you have made the same movie? if the answer was yes (ie: “friday” or “the best man“) then no, its not a black movie…just a movie with black people in it.

2. remember, this is just measuring “importance” not “best” or “champs favorite“. please keep this in mind while admiring my list.

***in reverse order***

6. glory

glory-dvdcover

reason for relevance

–the story of the 54th of massachusetts, glory was the most powerful depiction of the active hand 19th century blacks had in building our country. most other big-screen portrayals up to that time had pre-construction era blacks as docile and passive victims at the whims of the white teet, but glory showed that we had some fight in us…and that we were patriots and sh*t. if this means anything, i also get verklempt every time i watch it.

as my man heath stated bluntly a few years ago, “after seeing this, i didnt have to fake sleeping through history class anymore”

–also, the movie contained quite possibly the best on-screen insult ever, when morgan freeman’s sergeant major admonished an incorrigible denzel as a “smart-mouth, stupid-ass, swamp-running nigger”. i’d give a months pay for the opportunity to say that to someone.

5. school daze

194406school-daze-posters

reason for relevance

–spike lee’s depiction of black college life and the intra-racial class and color conflicts among us still resonates today.

–along with “a different world”, “daze” helped to keep HBCU’s on the radars of black youths around the country. it also remains the only musical that a heterosexual black male can freely admit to enjoying without reproach

4. menace 2 society

menace2_society

reason for relevance

—although less popular than the equally critically acclaimed “boyz n da hood”, menace more accurately captured the increasingly nihilistic nature permeating our inner cities. america was scared sh*tless by the fact that someone like o-dog existed (which the book “monster” proved even further), and larenz tate’s performance in this flick cemented the young champ’s fear of midgets.

3. do the right thing

do_the_right_thing

reason for relevance

—lets put it this way: any movie released that makes people fear for the possibility of race-riots and the safefty of the mayor of new york is an important f*cking flick

—also, any movie that could inspire the young champ to rock kinte-clothed hoop sneaks…

air-raid-ii-peace-black

…is an important f*cking flick

—supposedly this movie served as the first date for a young shelly robinson and barry obama, which also makes it an important f*cking flick.

2. the color purple

the_color_purple1

reason for relevance

–eh. next.

1. coming to america

1155446493_coming_to_america

reason for relevance:

–from soul-glo and “queen to be!!!!” to “martin luther the king” and randy watson’s sexual chocolate, no movie produced in the last 30 years has had as many instant quotetables, and as much of an lasting and panoramic impact on black popular culture. maybe it’s not as racially charged as a “rosewood” and maybe it doesnt provide a satirical social commentary like a “hollywood shuffle”, but “seriousness” isn’t the only way to define “importance“.

***also, from a racial rabble-rousing point of view, you can’t ignore the intra-racial impact of prince hakeem discarding a banging, barking, brown-skinned nubian princess for a giant foreheaded, light-skinned, bootlegged, burger chain heiress on an impressionable black populace. honestly, it took me at least six years to realize that shari headley was maybe the 6th or 7th most attractive woman in that movie. color-struckedness is a b*tch.***

toughest omissions:

malcolm x

—although its one of my favorite movies of all-time, and easily the best of the big black biopics (ie: “ray”, “ali”, “bird”, and “whats love got to do with it”) of the past couple decades, i couldn’t include it because it gets credit for the short-lived exaggerated black awareness/consciousness movement in the late 80′s/early 90′s that was actually spearheaded by “do the right thing”. its akin to giving kanye credit for the soulful sample mixing production style when he clearly is emulating the rza. i have no idea where i’m going here, so i’m just gonna stop.

hoop dreams

—forget about the basketball backdrop (which was remarkable in itself). this documentary perfectly mirrored the dynamics involved with thousands of struggling black families across the country, and, with arthur agee’s dad, introduced the world to the “functioning crackhead”

thoughts, vsb?

—the champ

***btw, please raise your hand or some sh*t if you’re gonna be in the dc area for inaguration***

Auto connection manassas

Damon Young

Damon Young is the editor-in-chief of VSB. He is also a contributing editor for EBONY.com. He resides in Pittsburgh, and he really likes pancakes.

  • GEMiniscing…

    i’d hardly consider “Friday” to be a NOT black movie. you could definitely not have the characters played by 2520 actors and get the same product. no way, no how.

    i’m actually offended you’d even suggest such a thing. pish posh!!

    • RedBeanzNRice

      @GEMiniscing…,

      You CAN have the 2520′s in the same type of movie – it’s called “Napoleon Dynamite”.

    • sisanda

      @GEMiniscing…, would someone please put RedBeanzNRice into some boiling water please..thank you, whose idea was it to allow crazy talk on this site?

      If anyone says anything negative about Friday i will shank with a rusted piece of galvanised iron, i will wait to catch you outside the mall on Sunday and quickly stick my D*ck in your ear, i will scissor kick you in the neck, I’ll go contract Ghonoria pour petrol on your ass then piss you and sett you alight gawd damnitt!!!

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        @sisanda,

        she’s telling the truth. friday’s a stoner comedy more than a black one. i wouldn’t go as far to say that its akin to napolean dynamite, but how is friday any different really from half baked or the kumar movies?

        thats not a negative comment…just the truth and sh*t

      • RedBeanzNRice

        @Champ & sisanda,

        Champ – Yeah, you’re right – it’s more akin to Half Baked, but I used Napoleon Dynamite as a parallel cause it’s basically an all 2520 cast.

        Sisanda – Wow. Such nastiness. Now you bringing shanks and sh*t? What ever happened to Kumbayah?

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

        @sisanda, yeah, as much as i like it, (i LOVE “don’t be a menace…”) Friday just happened to be “black” cuz it was set in South Central. but it was a stoner movie to the nth degree. it just happens to be the Black version of most suburban stoner movies. hell, Smokey could just have easily been pauly shore.

        • MDUBB

          @Panama Jackson,
          Whoa I agree overall, but lets just calm down with the parallels and sh!t.
          Pauly Shore? Yall are just getting reckless

  • http://www.myspace.com/chicanextdoor Miss Patterson

    no you didn’t say “eh…next” to the color purple. i’m gonna beat you like celie if you don’t write a decent paragraph in 5 minutes…*i’m counting*

    • http://www.twitter.com/circa1908 Intellectual Hedonist

      @Miss Patterson, I will hold him down while you and a group of midgets kick him in his squirrel nuts

      • http://www.myspace.com/chicanextdoor Miss Patterson

        @Intellectual Hedonist, ha ha! squirrel nuts! does that mean they’re all shriveled up and hard?…eww.. then we should pour a cookies and cream milkshake over his head and let a herd of albino roaches nibble away at his beady bees. hee, hee.

      • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

        @Intellectual Hedonist,

        hold deez

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Miss Patterson, i love Black women’s love for The Color Purple.

      what i also love is how when arguments ensue (as they usually do) as to why we don’t love it like y’all do, it comes down to a “it’s a woman thing”…which had you said in the first place, usually would have saved a 2 hour argument about the movie’s relevance.

      it is hella funny though. though it made me scared of tribal markings for at least 10 years after watching it.

      • http://www.myspace.com/ezra504 Uninspired Muse

        @Panama Jackson,

        The love of that movie is so deep, I call my co-worker Celie and she calls me Nettie, because can NEVER sit together!

        Its a woman thing because no woman could see herself going throough that without cuttin Mister….damn a shave.

  • RedBeanzNRice

    I can’t even argue with the list you made, Champ. (which makes my job here very difficult, lol)

    Menace II Society was a MONSTER, and by that I mean, me and my homeboy took my 13 year old cousin with us to see it BEFORE either of us saw it first. *sighs* Mistake.

    After that, he started actin all “gangsta”, getting into random trouble for no reason, and quoting Caine an sh*t. He’s still an ass to this day. *sighs* Family – gotta love em.

    While I love Black movies that depict realities, I hate that they’re depicted – if that makes sense.

    Instead of making a movie about it – you got all that money to make a movie, so why don’t you DO SOMETHING about it, ya know?

    • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

      @RedBeanzNRice,

      “Instead of making a movie about it – you got all that money to make a movie, so why don’t you DO SOMETHING about it, ya know?”

      MESSAGE!! hehe

      • sisanda

        @Luvvie, MESSAGE!!!

        Aww you gotta love the Waynes Bros, well atleast before they started going all Hollywood and forgot what good-filthy-relevant-cringeworthy-hilarious comedy was.

        BTW why isn’t Don’t be a Menace (to society whilst drinking…) on the list, sheeeiiiiit i was in primary school when that ish came out and it changed my whole outlook on life. Sheeeiiit Don’t be a menace was the funniest comedy of it’s time…

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          @sisanda, yeah strange enough, i think Don’t Be A Menace is one of the most relevant Black movies ever made and is the only reason the Wayans brothers, for all of their travesties post In Living Color, will always get a pass from me.

          Don’t Be A Menace was so scarily accurate in its spoofery…basically, it’s what Michael Eric Dyson has always wished to be.

          • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

            @Panama Jackson,

            don’t be a menace would have made the cut if i extended the list to 20.

      • iloV.E.G.rits

        @Luvvie,

        “Instead of making a movie about it – you got all that money to make a movie, so why don’t you DO SOMETHING about it, ya know?”

        No disrespect to the original poster, but I disagree with this message.

        Filmmakers are doing something about it, in their own way. An artist’s job (and I do consider Menace to Society a piece of art; it is the best movie from that genre) is to convey the realities of life as they know it.

        Art inspires action. Community activists and advocates may then – and in many communities did – take that art, in this case Menace, and use it to facilitate discussions and community work groups about violence. From there, they could have compiled statistics on the crime rate in their local communities and used that info to lobby their local law makers for funding for community centers and policies that reduce violence.

        This is a collective society, where everyone must do their part. And each contribution is different, depending on the voice. Even if an artist is not consciously raising their voice, they are adding to the dialogue. It is up to those who consume the art to expand that dialogue and bring forth action.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          @iloV.E.G.rits,

          Filmmakers are doing something about it, in their own way. An artist’s job (and I do consider Menace to Society a piece of art; it is the best movie from that genre) is to convey the realities of life as they know it.

          Art inspires action. Community activists and advocates may then – and in many communities did – take that art, in this case Menace, and use it to facilitate discussions and community work groups about violence. From there, they could have compiled statistics on the crime rate in their local communities and used that info to lobby their local law makers for funding for community centers and policies that reduce violence.

          This is a collective society, where everyone must do their part. And each contribution is different, depending on the voice. Even if an artist is not consciously raising their voice, they are adding to the dialogue. It is up to those who consume the art to expand that dialogue and bring forth action.

          i agree and sh*t

        • RedBeanzNRice

          @iloV.E.G.rits,

          No disrespect taken. : ) We can just agree to disagree.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          @iloV.E.G.rits, i agree too and sh*t

        • http://www.heyyouasked.blogspot.com PBG

          @iloV.E.G.rits,

          I agree w/your statements here, both in content and structure.

        • temps

          @iloV.E.G.rits, EXACTLY and Spike hires ALL BLACK CREWS these are the ppl that really put a film together..ppl ARTIST arent politicians or the CEO’s of dumb compaines (wal mart, the Big Three, Paramount Pics..had to get that one in:). Stop asking them to “solve” the problem, yet half of us on this blog probably voted for the first time LAST YEAR and are WAAAY over 18, be the change you want to see-instead of telling us artist what to do…be like Spike and create are that inspires people. I am a filmmaker becuase Spike was doin it hard in the 80s in BK when it wasnt safe and he was the ONLY black film maker…its funny how people forget the Originators.

    • Arafat Khadafi

      @RedBeanzNRice,

      Making a movie about the reality depicted may be in fact an excellent way to do something about it.

      • RedBeanzNRice

        @Arafat Khadafi,

        How so? By raising “awareness” while they pocket the profit? Why not use that money to better the community since you KNOW that’s what the hell is going on. That’s all I’m sayin.

        • Arafat Khadafi

          @RedBeanzNRice,

          We’re commenting on an oped piece about movies, black ones and their relevance etc. Come on. Look at yourself. Steam is coming off of your comment. I think everybody here today feels the significant weight and influence of media, mass communications, entertainment, Movies. If not we wouldn’t be talking about this s*it. Don’t play yourself cause you’ll be the only one getting played. Bermuda Triangle. Fu*k with it you’ll get lost.

          • RedBeanzNRice

            @Arafat Khadafi,
            “We’re commenting on an oped piece about movies, black ones and their relevance etc”

            No, I was commenting on YOUR comment to me in particular.

            Steam? Really? If that’s what you’re seeing, you need glasses – LensCrafters only takes an hour.

            And as far as playing oneself? Check ya self before you wreck ya shelf – my comment was to yours alone, Mr. 20/70 vision. CLEARLY, you live in the Bermuda Triangle, cause everything gets lost there. So, you’re forgiven.

            • Arafat Khadafi

              @RedBeanzNRice,

              Todays topic,”the six most important black movies of the last 30 years”

              You have umpteen related comments and counting yet your vision is so acute you fail to see how making a black movie that depicts reality may be in fact an excellent way of doing something about “it”. The approach to solving problems or strengthening peoples realities are often multi-faceted because the realities and problems are just as limitless in possibility. Don’t discount “bringing awareness” With awareness comes choice. Hey but “bringing awareness” is just one benefit of art, entertainment, mass media, communications, Movies. I wonder if a movie budget could fix the economic fix America is in now. We’re spending trillions of dollars.”Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. “Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” Both have significant influence. A multi-faceted approach would probably be very smart indeed. There are many films the worldwide that are made each year which don’t make money however to infer that making a film has insignificant effect upon effecting positive change on problems, peoples, realities etc. is short sighted. If you or anyone else has genuine and honorable intent in “doing something about it” it is not limited to a certain, way, trade, discipline, art, category, career path, articles of organization or incorporation, to be effective efficient or significant in effecting those changes in “reality.” For certain mass media, communication, entertainment, is a super dynamic way to reach, create awareness and influence people and realities. Whether a film does this or not is not about its category “Films” but more about the purpose of the project and the people creating it. The scope of some “adverse realities” are much bigger than say two hundred and fifty million dollars and that’s a high end version of a films entire budget Hollywood Style. Good thing is everybody is not you or me. Some may have the same goals and purposes but different talents and visions for getting there. That doesn’t necessarily mean they are any less significant in effecting reality. I communicate with Gods percision and Satans swag you niggas are not permitted with your hating ass. C>H>

              • RedBeanzNRice

                @Arafat Khadafi,

                Ok look foreigner. I barely got past the first sentence of your “novel” because frankly you matter so much to me that I bothered to read it.

                Before you start talking about someone READING sh*t, CHECK YA SHELF, dumbass. The ONLY reason I even said ANYTHING to you in the first place is because I was responding to YOUR response to ME.

                You weren’t commenting on the topic, you were commenting on what I SAID, you idiot. So now, I’m done, because I refuse to battle an unarmed little boy.

                Your mama should have raised you better.

            • Arafat Khadafi

              @RedBeanzNRice,

              LOL! Just as I said, Bermuda Triangle Nig*a. Fu*k wit it and you’ll get lost.

              • RedBeanzNRice

                @Arafat Khadafi,

                And clearly you are – nuff said.

            • Arafat Khadafi

              Be advised. We are issuing an *Amber Alert* for RedBeanzNRice last seen traveling in the Bermuda Triangle Area. All craft in the area please be on the lookout for a small ship that may be in distress. Please contact…

              • RedBeanzNRice

                @Arafat Khadafi,

                Ok, I know you have a crush on me an sh*t, but you’re going above and beyond. Now, if expressing your undying love for me is what gets you through the weekend, then by all means, continue.

                I’m gonna go take a nap while you work that out.

        • temps

          @RedBeanzNRice,doest the church poket the profit..how about the cable/satellite companies they all pocket the profit, when was the last time those organizations really helped the community. Maybe the church but they always suspect..alterior motives..but I dont see Nike, building any factory in any ghetto, how about you Internet provider are they in your hood holding semiars about “your son could write the next killa app” what about cell phone companies other than sticking the store in the hood what do they really do for the community? I guess no one should be in business unless they give back.

          • Arafat Khadafi

            @temps,

            Give back like in taxes?

        • temps

          @RedBeanzNRice, what about your internet provider or all of the other products in your household they dont contribute money to the community so why should filmmakers be the only ones. Its a job like anyone elses. We tell stories thats all, we are not the politicians you do or dont vote for (which is why we had Bush dumb ass for 8 yrs..that f-the crap about no one good to vote for well theres always someone worst that’ll take advantage of “not voting”). I also dont buy things from a business if I dont like em it aint my right to tell em what they should do with their money….instead I want to ask you-What is you plan for the community? And dont give me the better schools crap, if you had the budget from the B.I.G movie what would you do thats tangible?

    • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com Sula In Planning.

      @RedBeanzNRice,

      Because that’s their vehicle.

      Some are community organizers (read Barry) some are artists (read Spike Lee). Different gifts.

      As long as it’s used for good, I’m ok with using your gifts as you receive them.

      • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com/ blackberry molasses

        @Sula In Planning.,

        *nodding head in agreement*

  • http://rantsofawildchild.wordpress.com ladebelle

    glory was like the most depressing movie ever. i remember when they were trying to get shoes… that made me sooooo sad esp cuz of my addiction to shoes… but yeah, it’s amazing to me that morgan freeman is STILL acting… i mean, wasn’t he like jesus’ best friend?!?!

    and i think that if coming to america wasn’t on the list then we would all question your negro-hood…

    but u know, as long as soul plane or some other foolywang wasn’t up here i think that ur list is pretty comprehensive!

    and damn it feels good to be commenting before the triple digits rise!

    • http://naturallyalise.blogspot.com Relax, Relate, Alise

      @ladebelle,

      why is my memory of “Glory” that we went to the movie, halfway through the film f*cked up, and we had to get refunds… ain’t that a bish….

      • http://rantsofawildchild.wordpress.com ladebelle

        @Relax, Relate, Alise,

        ohhh… that happened when we went to see crooklyn!!!

    • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

      @ladebelle,

      “it’s amazing to me that morgan freeman is STILL acting… i mean, wasn’t he like jesus’ best friend?!?!”

      Naw. Morgan Freeman was Jesus’ elementary school principal. “Lean on Me” was loosely based on the trials of “Adam &Eve K-12 School”. Word.life.

      • http://www.heyyouasked.blogspot.com PBG

        @Luvvie,

        Corner. Now.

      • http://naturallyalise.blogspot.com Relax, Relate, Alise

        @Luvvie,

        I hate yo face… go sat down effective now.

      • SouthernGirl

        @Luvvie, i ca-quit you.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      @ladebelle,

      “…and damn it feels good”

      if i had a dollar…

      • V Renee

        @The Champ

        You would have exactly $.06 in your pocket?

        • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com/ blackberry molasses

          @V Renee,
          Ba-ZING!!!!!

        • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com Sula In Planning.

          Pow -Pow! Shot fired!

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          @V Renee,

          since when did folks from cincy learn how to count and sh*t?

          • V Renee

            @The Champ

            When they went to the number 36th best high school in America. (wink)

            • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

              @V Renee,

              are you referring to princeton? asking because my cousin went there (two of them, actually)

              • V Renee

                @The Champ

                HE.L.L naw I aint talking about Princeton. Hahaha. Walnut Hills.

                But who are your cousins? Are they cute/single?

      • Unsolved Mysteries

        @The Champ, tryna make a dolla out of . $0.15…(a dime and a nickel!)

  • http://graywords1000@yahoo.com Dorian G.

    *Raises hand

    If any of my people are gonna be in the area email me and we’ll get up this weekend.

    Even tho you’re from Pitt I’ll include you in the “people” category too Champ.

    • 8th Wonder

      Don’t be volunteering to open up our QT to the masses.

  • shay-d-lady

    what! you didn’t include Hollywood Shuffle! it qualified and its a comedy classic! winky dinky ho cakes cause ho’s gotta eat to?

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      @shay-d-lady,

      i gave it a shout-out and sh*t in one of the write-ups

  • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

    “Oh my lawd, lawd, lawd, lawd… MMHMMMM”. I LOVE that scene in “Glory”

    And yall aready KNOWED “The Color Purple” is my ISH!!! “That day when I SEED you in that sto’, I KNEWED there was a GAWD!!!” Oprah played the PERM outta Miss Sofia. I ain’t lying!

    “Coming to America” is God’s gift to cinema. I STILL roast folks who wear velour by asking them “What is that, VELVET??”

    Other movies I’d add to this list (just cuz I love em so):

    *Harlem Nights
    *Boomerang
    *I’m gonna git you Sucka (I’ont care if you disagree)

    Oh I SHALL BE I DC!!!! *Does jig, shuck and/or jive, the hustle, the electric slide, the perculator, the pressha cooker…* So… is we popping off a VSB meet and greet?

    • http://www.twitter.com/circa1908 Intellectual Hedonist

      @Luvvie,

      joining Luvvie in the jig, shuck and/or jive, the hustle, the electric slide, the perculator, the pressha cooker…*

      • WuDaMan

        @Intellectual Hedonist,

        It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time

        • http://blackwomanlost.blogspot.com/2009/01/naturally-alises-blog-poetry-slam.html Relax, Relate, Alise

          @WuDaMan,

          LMAO, that never stops being funny!

          • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com Sula In Planning.

            @Relax, Relate, Alise,

            Never!

            Especially as I picture Brian doing it to amuse Peter, hilarity always ensues.

            • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com/ blackberry molasses

              @Sula In Planning.,
              Best.Family.Guy.Clip.Ever.

              • V Renee

                @blackberry molasses

                The BEST Family Guy Clip is when Stewie beats Brian’s azz over the money he owes him.

                Me and a co-worker JUST reenacted that scene today. Coffee cup and all.

              • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com/ blackberry molasses

                @V Renee,

                actually, you are correct… but that whole episode kicked a$$
                “Where’s my money? Huh! Oh you got money to buy fake mustaches, but you don’t got my money **Stewie kicks Brian down the stairs**

            • MDUBB

              @Sula In Planning.,
              I get so mad about that Family Guy Peanut Butter Jelly clip, cause the Peanut Butter Jelly song and dance is a real thing down here in Florida and that ish in Family Guy is not it at all!
              To me it’s totally disrespectful.
              Pardon me for getting all sensitive and sh!t

    • http://naturallyalise.blogspot.com Relax, Relate, Alise

      @Luvvie,

      I’ll be in DC in all my vangloriousness… get like me!

      • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

        @Relax, Relate, Alise,

        “get like me!”

        Sorry but I decline your offer. I need moisture in my hair. Ur hairhat misses moisture like the desert misses rain. I can’t.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

          @Luvvie,

          hairhat?

          • http://blackwomanlost.blogspot.com/2009/01/naturally-alises-blog-poetry-slam.html Relax, Relate, Alise

            @The Champ,

            hairhat is what we affectionately (not) call each other’s hair, but it is what we call wigs and weaves, bc they are hats made of hair… and we have epic battles http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com/2009/01/dry-hair-battle.html

    • WuDaMan

      @Luvvie,

      I’m so happy you put up Harlem Nights

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

      @Luvvie, like Champ said, Coming To America is the Jay-Z of Black cinema. there are SO many quotables in that movie its ridiculous. me likey long time…

      i often waver on Harlem Nights. on the one hand, it had a million quotables too, and was the backdrop of my favorite DJ Quik album “Safe+Sound”, but unlike Coming to America it wasn’t anything more than entertainment (and pretty much just a vanity project)…maybe accidentally, but Coming To America was some damn social commentary for dat azz. plus, it just so happens to be THE MOST STEREOPTYPICAL movie of all time.

      i mean, the african prince had elephants in his back yard. now, maybe that’s true…lol…however, that’s just some crap Americans assume about Africans on some ole ignant lookin’ boi stuff.

      i mean for goodness sake, he actually had an african booty scratcher. lol. of course she got cut out of the final cut, but she was in there RIGHT before the royal penis was cleaned. i think it was played by a pre-boomerang Halle Berry.

      • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com/ blackberry molasses

        @Panama Jackson,
        i did not know about the African booty scratcher… I quit that movie. Effective immediately.

        Ehhhh, who am I kiddn…. its a good movie. But dayum ignant

      • http://www.myspace.com/wudaman19 WuDaMan

        @Panama Jackson,

        Oh snap I need to upgrade and get the dvd. Aparently I need to see these deleted scenes and all. Good lookin out Panama ‘GET YOUR ROYAL ENGAGEMENT T-SHIRTS’

      • Arafat Khadafi
        • http://www.myspace.com/wudaman19 WuDaMan

          @Arafat Khadafi,

          Talk about gangsta! A hyena on a chain son?! Wuuuuu ehehehehehe

          • Arafat Khadafi

            @WuDaMan,

            You’d be surprised what people keep as pets. Even when I was young I knew people in America that had some exotic s*it. Elephant in the back yard in countries like India and Africa would not surprise me. Look at Michael Jackson’s sick as.

            • superwoman

              @Arafat Khadafi, Elephant in the back yard in countries like India and Africa

              …no, brother leader, NO!!!… Africa is NOT a country….

              • Arafat Khadafi

                @superwoman,

                Thanks. I learn so much from a very smart sista. I surely thought South Africa was a country and I also thought that Africa was the continent that it was on. Am I wrong there too? Thank you kindly.

          • Arafat Khadafi

            @WuDaMan,

            http://www.lostateminor.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/03/nigeria16.jpg

            By the way I saw a pack of “stray” dogs next to the highway the other day and the “pack leader” had on a dirty NBA jersey. That s*it was “SO HOOD” and so hilarious.

      • http://www.twitter.com/circa1908 Intellectual Hedonist

        @Panama Jackson,

        one of my professors used Coming to America in one of my literature classes, African American images in main stream film and literature, the whole Elephant in the back yard thing always kills me

      • Unsolved Mysteries

        @Panama Jackson, i rebuke this in the name of every African who was called an african booty scratcher on an elem school playground.

        well never mind. the beatdown that immediately followed it makes it worth it.

      • http://www.twitter.com/circa1908 Intellectual Hedonist

        @Panama Jackson,

        i’m watching Comig to America right now as I watch my girl pack for our trip to the inauguration

    • Luvtheshoes

      @Luvvie,

      You already know I’ll be there. Would love to hit up a meet and greet. Besides my 60 year old mother already called on Tuesday to say she had bought the liquor to bring on the trip. I may need some time away from mom and ‘em. SMH…family

  • James Simms

    Great list, definetly on point.
    I remember watching School Daze.
    Speaking of intra-racial, that is what’s going on at my job at Barnes & Noble. I’m the only black person there with darker skin, and the ladies (one’s light, another is half-white) are not friendly.

    Or maybe it’s because I work in receiving while they work on the sales floor? I only ask how their day is going and keep the conversations only about work.

    • http://verysmartbrothas.com The Champ

      @James Simms,

      have you had sex with either of these women? just asking to get a better idea of what the problem is

    • http://lostwomanchild.blogspot.com/ blackberry molasses

      @James Simms,

      why they hatin’ on chocolate goodness? that’s my question.

      Oh and welcome!!!! **Diva Dust v. 2.0 ™**

    • SouthernGirl

      @James Simms, i lurve barnes & noble…welcome!!! *shooting gold stars*

  • shay-d-lady

    awwwwww and why no roots or shaka zulu?

    • Leila

      @shay-d-lady, I was expecting to see Roots on the list…

    • Maximillian

      @shay-d-lady,

      both Roots and Shaka Zulu are mini-series.

    • http://naturallyalise.blogspot.com Relax, Relate, Alise

      @shay-d-lady,

      no one shoot me but “Roots”… meh

    • http://www.awesomelyluvvie.com Luvvie

      @shay-d-lady,

      Hi, I’m Luvvie and I’ve never watched “Roots”. Don’t stone me, but its been a conscious decision. I just don’t want to.

      You can’t revoke my black card, btw. My African-ness gives me an extra allowance for such things. hehehe Now I KNOW I’mo get some hate mail

      • iloV.E.G.rits

        @Luvvie,

        You should watch it…its a great mini-series and quite powerful. Though, as someone not descended from slaves (as we in the Americas are), you’d probably not feel an emotional connection to Roots, the way black and Carib-Americans did/still do.

        No need to worry: the committee to revoke black cards does not have your name on their review list.

        • Leila

          @iloV.E.G.rits, Everyone should watch it. I’m African too (born there and raised in the US) and I’ve watched it many times. It was a very powerful movie.

        • iloV.E.G.rits

          @iloV.E.G.rits,

          Luvvie: the review committee is sorry to inform you that your name IS on the list.

        • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com Sula In Planning.

          @iloV.E.G.rits,

          I was also born AND raised in Africa, and I still think Roots is an important movie. Very gripping and powerful, and to crown it all, it was also well acted.

        • superwoman

          @iloV.E.G.rits, no, i’m african – and i watched roots as a kid, when it first came out, and as a black person, it gripped me something chronic. i read the book years later, and watched the mini-series again – and it was as compelling as ever…

          i don’t see how any black person, regardless of which part of the diaspora they’re in, wouldn’t be affected by Roots – it was so powerful….

          • Leila

            @superwoman, “i don’t see how any black person, regardless of which part of the diaspora they’re in, wouldn’t be affected by Roots – it was so powerful”

            I concur…

      • RedBeanzNRice

        @Luvvie,

        I only saw Roots when I was a kid, so I only really remember Chicken George – and that’s barely. But I tried to watch it again when it came on 2 years ago – couldn’t even do it. As soon as the Africans got put on the wagon, Kunta starts speaking English to one of the other dudes.

        English? Really?

        You couldn’t at least make them start off with Swahili or somethin?

        Besides that, it’s plagiarized.

        • http://verysmartbrothas.com Panama Jackson

          @RedBeanzNRice, though that doesnt’ take away from its historical significance b/c the visual was so powerful, that did kind of take away a lot of the credibility…not to mentoin Roots: The Next Generation with Halle and Jasmine Guy…

          like, you faked the first 1000 pages…NOW I GET MORE??!??!?

          lucky for him he’s who Malcolm called to write his autobiography or his name would be mud.

          • iloV.E.G.rits

            @Panama Jackson,

            Queen was the worst piece of garbage. I took time out my valuable young life to watch that mess…

            As an aside, there should be a list: When Oprah happens to good books. She has ruined, for me, three of my favorite books: Their Eyes Were Watching God, The Wedding and Beloved.

          • RedBeanzNRice

            @Panama Jackson,

            PREACH!! Cause you ain’t speakin nothin but the TRUTH! The English part made me irritated so that’s why I spoke on it – reduces the authenticity.

            In a way, his name still is kinda “mud” – let’s just call it “dirt”, lol.

        • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com Sula In Planning.

          @RedBeanzNRice,

          Well, they would have techincally not been talking in Swahili… but that’s besides the point.

          I gather they were trying to reach an audience. Finding actors who would actually speak those native languages would have been more expensive. It was the late 1970′s, I’m not sure there were a lot of people lining up to finance mini-series about Slavery and its intricacies.

          Personally, Roots did a great job in opening my mind as a child to the problems that Slavery could have created (remember I was watching it from afar) and it made me appreciate a lot of the differences when I moved stateside.

          My $.02.

          • RedBeanzNRice

            @Sula In Planning.,

            “Well, they would have techincally not been talking in Swahili… but that’s besides the point.”

            If it was besides the point you wouldn’t have brought it up. Besides that, I said “or somethin”, jeez.

            If they can read a script, they can read Swahili, or whatever African language they decided to use. With actors it’s not a matter of KNOWING the language, only being able to read it.

            And since the language would only last roughly 10 minutes, they could have used sub-titles.

            So if you liked Roots, then good for you. I didn’t.

            • http://freetherapyorelse.blogspot.com Sula In Planning.

              @RedBeanzNRice,

              Just stating my opinion, darling. Relax.

              • RedBeanzNRice

                @Sula In Planning.,

                There’s no “relaxing” I’m just responding to what you wrote to me.

            • iloV.E.G.rits

              @RedBeanzNRice,

              I have to counter here. Actors have to do more than read a language. They have to master the pronounciation, phrasing…dialect/language coaches are expensive. I’m with Sula…there prolly wasn’t a lot of money being tossed at the project.

              Besides the film wanted to appeal to as wide an audience as possible…subtitles would have, sadly, turned off a huge number of folks.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=73903598 Dom

            @Sula In Planning.,
            “I gather they were trying to reach an audience. Finding actors who would actually speak those native languages would have been more expensive. It was the late 1970’s, I’m not sure there were a lot of people lining up to finance mini-series about Slavery and its intricacies.”

            Thanks for this. People say they want the “authentic experience” and skip all movies with subtitles.

      • overit

        @Luvvie, thank you! how can ppl attempt to revoke a black card…and yous African!

    • WuDaMan

      @shay-d-lady,
      wait was they made in 78 or later?

  • Leila

    –eh. next.

    Champ, you are wrong for this comment lol. The Color Purple was one of the best movies (and books). The list is on point. Waiting to Exhale should be an honorable mention.

    • iloV.E.G.rits

      @Leila,

      Waiting to Exhale would have been the same movie if there were white chicks in it. Sorry. See Sex and the City. It’s an important film because there were black women, finally, in that type of film, driving the story line. So, from that respect it’s culturally relevant. But, if we adhere to Champ’s guidelines, I must admit that it is no different than any other unlucky in love/”I can do bad all by myself” chick flick.

      • YGB

        @Leila,

        What she said!

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=73903598 Dom

      @Leila,

      I dont get black womens fascination with that movie or the book either for that matter. If it had five no-names in it instead of Angela, Whitney, Loretta etc, nobody would have been checking for it.

      I still dont.