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Example review and cleanup: Magical Negro get usage counts

 1 nrjxll, Mon, 11th Apr '11 12:05:36 AM Relationship Status: Not war
The page points out that this is a specific trope that does not refer to any magical and/or mentor character who happens to be black. However, based on my own experience with some of the works listed and the discussion page, I think some Trope Decay is, not too surprisingly, occurring. I'd love to rename it to something like Inspirational Colored Character, as I think it would help emphasize that this is related to such tropes as Inspirationally Disadvantaged, but as I'm told it's a preexisting term that's not an option.

However, I do think some of the examples are fairly dubious, so I'm hoping to discuss them with this thread similar to what's been done on the thread for Complete Monster.

edited 11th Apr '11 12:06:00 AM by nrjxll

Fixed the tag (you're not supposed to put spaces in the article title).

Yeah, I see a little of what you mean about the examples. Take this bit attached to the Driving Miss Daisy example: "Although, he displays no obvious powers beyond the Power Of Friendship." And over here: "In The Dark Knight, Morgan Freeman once again plays a magical negro: an omni-disciplinary scientist who makes a living breaking the laws of physics and knowing everything." And just skimming a little, the Pirates of the Caribbean example is wrong.

So, definitely cleanup to do here.

Incidentally, can we get a better laconic? The current one is not helpful at all.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
 3 Meta Four, Mon, 11th Apr '11 6:05:22 PM from the house of bread and battle
AXTUCE MUN AXTE INCAL
Whoops. Should have read the OP better. Nevermind.

edited 11th Apr '11 6:07:39 PM by MetaFour

Click the 'get usage counts' button at the top of the page.
Goal: Clear, Concise and Witty
 5 nrjxll, Mon, 11th Apr '11 8:23:56 PM Relationship Status: Not war
[up]It's brought in over 11, 000 people? Well, I wasn't aiming to rename it - merely to clean up the examples and try to do something about people listing any black character who is 1) a mentor or 2) magical. This is one of those tropes that tends to get Trope Decay.

 6 kylenne, Sun, 24th Apr '11 2:36:59 PM from The Undercity
Banshee Queen
Re: the Laconic, how about "Black character that exists solely to inspire white hero"? It might help to emphasize that it's their lack of characterization/background/role outside of teaching and helping the white protagonist that makes a character a Magical Negro, rather than simply being a mentor or having magic powers. I would also argue against renaming the trope, since it's a very well-known term that was popularized by a famous filmmaker (Spike Lee).

Azor Ahai
I wouldn't rename it since it's (forget the name) one of those tropes like Magnificent Bastard- it's in common, widely recognized useage.

On the other hand, definitely think it could use some clean up. One thing, that's a bit of a peeve for me is that I think Morgan Freeman's reputation as always playing this trope is vastly over stated.

edited 24th Apr '11 4:23:02 PM by Jordan

Hodor
 8 Deboss, Sun, 24th Apr '11 4:55:19 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Tropes of Legend?
 9 nrjxll, Thu, 28th Apr '11 8:11:52 PM Relationship Status: Not war
Bumping this. A rename is out, but I believe something should be done to help deal with the mistaken examples. The proposed laconic change sounds good.

[up] That's a good improvement.
Rhymes with "Protracted."
There's also an awful lot of "...but this is justified and isn't REALLY a magical negro because they got their powers from magical rocks" or "it's not really a magical negro because Morgan Freeman is actually god!"

I'm not sure this is a trope that can really have justifications, since it's more about the roles in the story than the reasons for them (or lack thereof.) And the fact that Morgan Freeman is god (there are a lot of ones along that line, saying 'well, if the black guy is so powerful, it can't be racist!') actually reinforces the trope rather than subverting it — part of the definition is that the trope is about a highly competent / powerful / whatever black character who nonetheless devotes themselves to supporting a white character.

It's important to realize that (like a lot of race and gender tropes) the unfortunate implications of this trope only really come into play when you realize that it's common enough to be a trope — any one movie or book or whatever that uses it isn't necessarily doing something 'wrong', so people need to realize that they don't have to justify it.

edited 28th Jun '11 7:42:58 PM by Aquillion

Does Dick Hallorann from The Shining count? Or does the fact that he tries to directly intervene disqualify him?
 
nevermind Just looked under Literature.

<—-noob
 
 15 English Major, Tue, 2nd Aug '11 11:13:48 AM from The 5th Circle of Hell
All haill Atroticus!
I vote we change it to "Magical Minority". We keep the alliteration, and it addresses how the trope applies to more than just Black people.
With blood and rage of crimson red ripped from a corpse so freshly dead together with our hellish hate we'll burn you all that is your fate
World's Toughest Milkman
Magical Negro is what the Other Wiki calls it; it's not our term, but a real-world term.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_negro

(For future reference, this is what the We Are Not Alone Index is about.)

edited 2nd Aug '11 11:27:45 AM by Xtifr

"Existential Despair" is an oxymoron.
 17 Fighteer, Tue, 2nd Aug '11 11:26:37 AM from the Time Vortex Relationship Status: Dancing with Captain Jack Harkness
This trope name is not changing. Did you not see the usage statistics? Also, preexisting term and established industry term.

edited 2nd Aug '11 11:27:22 AM by Fighteer

Neoclassicism, AKA the Tinkerbell school of economics.
[up]Is that Word Of Mod? If so, can we get this locked then please.
Aid the Paradox Archaeologists, meditate on the tropes used: Beyond The Star Empire Of The Otters Of Doom
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Total posts: 18
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