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View Diary: Why? CNN and NPR Present a Potpourri of Tragic Mulattoes Before a National Audience (285 comments)

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  •  Good question. I forgot to list (2+ / 0-)


    It might be an updated twist on "The Exotic Primitive" but I'm not so sure about that because most of the attributes of The Exotic Primitive are negative (lustful, violent, savage) things attributed to "primitive" Africans, whereas the Magical Negro doesn't usually possess these attributes but it's still suggested that because of his inherently primitive Africanness, he is different than white people.

    The Magical Negro might be a recently created stereotype with a category all it's own. It's a stereotype with a positive spin like people that believe in model minorities like how my grandfather thought all Jews were geniuses. He didn't mean any harm but it was harmful just the same.

    Perhaps they've updated the curriculum with The Magical Negro nowadays.

    "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

    by GenXangster on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 02:09:04 PM PST

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    •  It's probably all its own (4+ / 0-)

      because key to the trope of the Magical Negro is his emotional and/or spiritual usefulness to the white protagonist in his own struggles.

      Also, I suspect it could combine well with any of the ones you list.

      •  I suddenly remember now (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        madhaus, Denise Oliver Velez

        The Sacrificial Negro. lol Hard to keep all these things straight after all these years but you're right. You put it in better words than I did. He's not just "magical", he's a useful tool to the white protagonist in the story which changes things a bit.

        Typically, I would think of the Sacrificial Negro as the faithful servant type that jumps in front of a bullet to save a white person and other such acts of literal sacrifice to make himself useful to the white lead.

        Either way, I guess.

        "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

        by GenXangster on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 02:32:55 PM PST

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        •  Oh, there we go! (3+ / 0-)

          I'd be inclined to call it a related trope but not a subtrope; the Magical Negro doesn't necessarily have to sacrifice himself, either literally or figuratively.

          According to TVTropes (WARNING: like all TVTropes pages, this is potentially a hazardous timesink), the MN generally does have some actual magic, or at least mystical wisdom.

          •  Thanks for that link! (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Denise Oliver Velez

            I immediately thought of examples of actual film characters that fit into that description as I was reading. One that stands out in my memory is the Chubbs Peterson character played by Carl Weathers in Happy Gilmore. He came into the white guy's life to perfect his golf game and then he conveniently fell out of a window and died halfway through the film.

            I dunno if Adam Sandler was spoofing Bagger Vance (Will Smith) or not because Sandler tends to get on my last nerve with all the ethnic stereotypes he uses in his movies for comic relief.

            "It's not enough to acknowledge privilege. You have to resist." -soothsayer

            by GenXangster on Mon Dec 10, 2012 at 03:08:52 PM PST

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