What Is A ‘Magical Negro’ And Why Are They In So Many Films?

Tuesday, November 15 by

Louise – Sex and the City

I really don’t want to spend too much time talking about Sex and the City…ever, but on a show rife with one-dimensional characters, Jennifer Hudson’s Louise manages to shine. She appears as her assistant only when Carrie is completely distraught and in an emotional funk, offering advice and perspective, then is quickly written off from the show as Carrie rebounds and gets back to being her old self.

Lamont – American History X

As Derek Vineyard (Edward Norton) finds himself in prison after a racially motivated assault, he comes across Lamont, a wrongly-imprisoned black man who manages to talk and talk and talk, despite Vineyard’s clear unwillingness to listen. Eventually, Lamont gets through to Vineyard and essentially teaches him about regret and also that black people aren’t so bad after all. He also serves to protect Derek throughout his stay in the prison.

Brother Sam – Dexter


It’s pretty clear that Dexter has spent its past few seasons scrambling for new plot points and angles, so the introduction of Brother Sam, a born-again Christian with a criminal past, might not have been surprising. But it was still a little cringe-worthy.

Sam teache Dexter that people can change, and that faith is a big part of that. Of course, as soon as Dexter starts to learn the lesson, Brother Sam is killed, and Dexter finds he is fated to return to his homicidal self.

A great performance by Mos Def as Brother Sam, but a pretty conventional storyline through and through.

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