Explanation of the reaction of the ‘American Society of Magical Negroes’ | Trending Viral hub


the first trailer for The American Society of Magical Negroes has subsided, and instead of expressing excitement for comedian-turned-writer-director Kobi Libii’s first film, many on social media were left confused.

This was not “Black Hogwarts” as many had thought based on the name and the initial sign which showed a hand holding a membership card of the aforementioned Black Wizarding Society. Instead, the trailer revealed that this film was going to be a satirical romantic comedy.

The film, which will premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival, follows Aren (All the bright place’yes Justice Smith), a recruit to the society of “magical negroes”, whose main mission is to use his powers to make life easier for white people. Assigned to a young white man (The other two(as Drew Tarver), Aren is understanding his role, cajoling the boy so that he never finds himself in a dangerous place of discomfort. But as they both develop feelings for a co-worker (An-Li Bogan), Aren questions whether he’s okay with putting white people’s comfort before his own.

Once the trailer revealed the plot, three sides emerged on X (formerly Twitter): 1) Those disappointed because they expected a movie about black people doing magic without the black trauma; 2) Those disappointed that the film is a satirical romantic comedy that employs a problematic trope; 3) Bad faith actors trying to portray the film as anti-white racism.

We will ignore the last camp since those are just trolls pushing a divisive narrative for clicksbut some at X spoke up and were really put off by the bait and switch of the film genre.

The “Magical Negro” Trope, Explained

The concept of the “magical negro” trope, coined by filmmaker Spike Lee in 2002refers to characters on the black side who exist solely to help white characters with their problems.

This trope has historical roots dating back to Spanish theater of the 15th and 16th centuries. This period, marked by colonial exploration and expansion, often depicted characters of African descent in literature and theater in a way that was intended to be mystical or otherworldly. In later centuries, especially in the context of American cinema, this trope evolved. The “magical negro” character is usually depicted as a caring figure who possesses special insight or mystical powers, which are often used to help the white protagonist.

This character is often portrayed as subordinate or secondary to the main white characters, reflecting a persistent, if not direct, echo of the master-slave dynamic of historical times, thus recontextualizing the dynamic as a mutually beneficial relationship.

Seen for the first time in the cinema. with disney song of the southNotable films that include this trope are The Legend of Bagger Vance, The green Mile, Ghost, and more recently Green Book. It has even been a lampshade in popular culture for Key and Peele and other black comedians in the past:

This trope serves several purposes. On the one hand, it is an attempt to include African-American characters in the mainstream media, albeit in a limited and often stereotyped way.

On the other hand, subtly perpetuates racial stereotypes and power dynamics by continually casting black characters in roles where their primary function is to support, enlighten, or assist the white characters, rather than being fully developed individuals in their own right. Therefore, the trope inherently promotes white supremacy by reinforcing the idea that the value of black individuals is measured by their usefulness to white narratives.

The persistence of this trope in modern media reflects Current challenges in representation and storytelling.. It suggests the need for more diverse and nuanced representations of black characters, moving beyond archaic stereotypes to encompass the full complexity and humanity of individuals of all backgrounds.

Because it is The American Society of Magical Negroes Facing backlash?

The main complaint from many on social media, and especially on .

As expressed in these tweets, some said they want representation that celebrates the full spectrum of Black life and culture, beyond narratives focused on suffering and adversity. It’s an especially valid sentiment in the wake of poorly received racial horrors like Before the war, Themand bad hair, or depictions of black men as villains in superhero movies like Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Guardians of the Galaxy, vol. 3, Aquaman and the lost kingdom.

That’s why Black PantherDespite not being the best film of all time, it is the cultural phenomenon that it is. Black Panther offered a refreshing change, allowing Black viewers to see themselves in stories that empower, uplift, and affirm their identities without the weight of trauma.

This does not mean The American Society of Magical Negroes You are going to fail with your target audience. The film doesn’t premiere until March of next year, so most of us will have to wait long after Sundance to find out what its final version contains. At the moment, we only have a poster, a trailer and a plot synopsis at our disposal. What we see now may not be representative of the final product (just look at how Sorry to bother you‘s The third act dials the satire up to 11.). However, what we are seeing right now is not that impressive.


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