"Many intelligent black men seem,
To look uncivilized when on the screen.
Like I guess I figure you,
To be some jiggaboo,
On the plantation. What else can a nigga do?"

That was my favorite line by Big Daddy Kane from Ice Cube's "Burn Hollywood, Burn". You know, back in the 70's, 80's, and 90's, black movie fans decried the negative roles being offered to black actors in Hollywood. If a black actor was in a film, and if they didn't have a white love interest, you know that they were going to be playing the part of a criminal, junkie, or buffoon.

We were so pissed off, that we screamed, "Fuck Hollywood!", "We need our own studios!", and "The Jews are running Hollywood, and making us look bad! We need to make our own movies!". Well, let's talk about that. We did make our own movies, and what were they about? Gangstas, drug dealers, and rappers participating in some type of baboonery. Maybe we didn't like the Jews making us look bad, but we didn't care if we made ourselves look bad, because we LOVED those movies. Well, some of us didn't. We had a few directors like John Singleton and Spike Lee that made positive movies, but for the most part, it was the same old same old. Enter Tyler Perry.

Now I'll admit, I'm not the biggest Tyler Perry fan, but I totally respect what he's trying to do. This man came in and made movies that try to show us in a positive light, and all he got in return and arrows hurled in his direction. Some were even shot by other black directors. They called him a "coon", not realizing that this "coon" employs more black people in Hollywood than anyone else. Especially the other black directors that attacked him. Yeah, I'll admit his movies can be somewhat corny, but at least he ain't portraying us as pimps, ho's, and drug dealers. Plus, he's a good business man: he gives his audience what they want! I heard on guy criticize Perry's movies, and then said, "What happened to the good movies like New Jack City, Juice, and Sugar Hill?". Really, dawg? Give me a break!

I recently read a black critic's review of "Just Wright", starring Queen Latifah and Common, and he slammed it. He called it a "corny love story". He also complained that it had no profanity in it. Really, black movie goers, what in the hell do you want? You don't want us being portrayed as buffoons and criminals, and all of the positive roles being offered by black directors, you think are corny. You can't have it both ways.

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  • June 7, 2010 at 10:56 AM  

    There were a few (FEW) memorable and fairly positive ones from the 90s. "Love and Basketball" was my favorite. Love Jones...Brothers (or something like that). Occasionally I'm compelled to see a Tyler Perry flick so I can be conversant. At some point in each I'm ready to walk out (but don't because the tix costs so much!) I appreciate that he employs so many people; I just wish (some or different) screenwriters were among them.