Movie Review: The American Society of Magical Negroes

 I don't remember the last time I did a movie review. DnD, maybe? Either way, I decided to venture out and go see a movie last Friday. My choice was The American Society of Magical Negroes.

At first, like many others, I thought that it was going to be a movie about an actual Potter-esque (wish we had something else to use for a comparison at this point) movie with magical Black people. Then, I saw the trailer, and I remembered what a magical negro is.

For those who don't know, the term "magical negro" means a character in a story that only exists to further along the white main character's narrative. People like Morpheus in The Matrix, John Coffee in The Green Mile, Oda Mae Brown in Ghost, God in Bruce/Evan Almighty. If we're lucky, the characters have backstories and lives of their own. Worst case scenario, they're also the sacrificial negro, like John Coffee, or any Black character who don't make it past the opening credits.

So, I realized, "Oh, it's a satire," and I went in with that expectation.

The main character, Aren, is a tragically apologetic young man who does his best to stay out of the way while also trying to make his yarn art a thing. He ends up following the bartender at the exhibit, where his piece did not get sold, and learns during a situation that would've most certainly ended up with him beaten to death by drunk frat boys, that the bartender has magical powers, which help him to turn the situation around and make the white people docile.

At this point in the movie, I've already resonated with Aren. I say "Sorry" all the time, even when I'm the one getting bumped into, and I'd recently waited at the top of the stairs at work for two white women to come up, and they didn't even stop to offer a smile to acknowledge that I did. The difference is, while I wanted to turn to them and say, "You're welcome!" Aren probably didn't even think about it. He just wanted to be seen as a safe out-of-the-way person. He is also biracial, which comes with its own needs to be accepted.

So, the bartender, Roger, introduces him to this secret society where magical Black people use their gifts to keep white people happy so more Black people don't get killed. Several hilarious references in this first introduction, and if you've seen or read The Green Mile, you'll get one instantly. If you haven't, you'll definitely say, "What the hell?"

Anyway, Aren has this power, and his first case is the classic toxic white man we all know and are forced to tolerate. In many instances, he even says the standard lines: "I was picked because I deserved it," being one of them, when on the back end, we see he was picked because of misogyny. He's not even the most talented person on the team. His coworker, who ends up being Aren's love interest, is.

That's all I'll say about the plot, except for Aren has an amazing speech that I hope helps Justice Smith get a nomination next year.

Now, two takeaways in response to the upset by those who thought we were getting *real* Black magical school people.

1) There weren't enough Black people in the movie. There was an entire society of Black people we saw every two or three scenes. The movie didn't focus on them, but they were there. Bringing me to...

2) Another movie centering white people. Yeah, true, but also, that's quite literally the point of the movie. It put a lens on how Black people have to coddle the white people in this world in order to survive, all while hoping it even works in the first place.

Overall, it was a really good movie. The acting was great, the comedy was spot on, and the message gets received. I highly recommend, especially since it didn't get enough views the first week it came out.

Weekly Words and Playing Catch Up

 I'm writing this early, so I don't take another long break by accident.

February, as always, was dumb short. I blinked, and it was March. But despite what books the (might as well be alt but let's be real) right keep trying to ban, I hope you learned something new in Black History Month. And Happy Women's History Month!

I finished what I thought was a trilogy, but come to find out, there are at least 30 books in that series, and by the end of the third book, I was highly underwhelmed, so not continuing it. I will say that on behalf of Women's History Month, men, please stop trying to write teenage girls. It's painful to read. On that note, the book I started reading after that seems . . . interesting. From the blond/blue-eyed golden child (literally had a golden aura around him, as seen by homeless man he and his friends were harassing) to dogs getting taken up in the rapture but not cats, I'm worried about what the rest of the writing holds, but I'll stick it out.

I've been writing up a mild rain (not a storm but haha), and I'm excited! I was very tempted to just go ahead and start Book 3 in these Shattered Chronicles, but I'm behaving. Of all three books, though, I do have the majority of the third's plot points floating around in my head. I know what the entire first part is going to be, and I know what the resolution is and how we get there. I've almost come full circle with my original idea, because I wanted the series to feel like a Final Fantasy video game, and if you know anything about that "third cd" (if you know, you know), Book 3 is absolutely going to be that. I'm working myself up just thinking about it.

I also had plans to be editing my audiobook recording by now, but I was so sick in January that I was still recovering in February! Hopefully I can pick recording back up this month. I was really enjoying it, and I want to get the audiobook out this year. Let's hope I can!

In other news, I'm in an 8-week course on how to build a game from scratch thanks to Black Girl Gamers and Anything World. Making video games is something I've thought about/toyed very loosely with over the years, so maybe this is the start of something. At least a basic game. I'm also playing with the idea of maybe making a Chapters story? I haven't done dramatic soap-opera type stories since my high school fan fiction days, and it's been even longer since I've written chapter books, but who knows? I might abandon the idea in a few weeks. haha For now, I'm at least enjoying the weird werewolf drama I'm choosing my own adventure in.

I actually don't know how well blogs are still doing. Even I haven't read the ones I follow in years now. I know with Patreon and these new blog subscriptions that are gaining traction, more popular content creators have those avenues. I do not have that luxury. I've even fallen off the social media for the most part, but I do plan on picking that back up. I was certainly supposed to be engaging more on Facebook for sure, so I will do my best! In the meantime, Happy Lent, Mubarak Ramadan, and see you next time!