Wrapping up Movie Week. It's all love for all cultures here in BougieLand but let's face it… there are some movies that black folks love. (Love, love, love) Not saying other folks don't love these movies too but these are movies we take real, real personally. Randomly, top 10 movies considered "Chocolate Classics":
The Color Purple: Sure we gave a side-eye to Steven Spielberg for producing but we forgave him after viewing the finished product. Oprah, Danny, Whoopi shine in this timeless tale of redemption and overcoming against all odds.
A Raisin in the Sun: Ya’ll KNOW I mean the original version and not that hot steaming mess Diddy was in. Sidney and the always-excellent Ruby Dee hold this one down.
Amistad: “GIVE US FREE!” Djimon Hounsou, Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins. Another Spielberg effort (very watered down) drama-filled story of slaves battling for justice in 1840s America.
Malcolm X: C’mon now, it’s Malcolm, it’s Denzel, it’s the man and the movement with Angela Bassett and Delroy Lindo as part of the stellar cast. A brilliant biopic that took us from Malcolm Little, to Red, to Malcolm X.
Claudine: Every damn thing Diahann Carroll ever did in front of the camera was classy. This tale with James Earl Jones involves a single mom, welfare and a whole lotta drama. But we love it anyway.
Shaft : (the original with Richard Roundtree, ya’ll) Pause for two seconds right here and the theme will start playing in your head. Yeah it was a “womanizing P.I. sticking it to The Man and everybody else” plot we’d seen before but Shaft remains the epitome of cool. Personally, I think when Obama comes out to do press conferences he should put on a leather trench and bounce out with this theme laying in the background.
Glory: This is one of those movies that made you go into work with your fist balled up the whole month after you saw it. Earned Denzel his first Oscar and Matthew Broderick a convincing role beyond Ferris Bueller.
Do the Right Thing: Still waiting on folks to act right. At any rate, it’s hot in Bed-Stuy and more than the pizza sauce boils over in this slice of racial tension. Rosie Perez whining to Mookie is stuck in our collective conscious forever. Fight the Power!
Carmen Jones: Even if we couldn’t get with the operatic soundtrack, we get Carmen and that man of hers. The beautiful Dorothy Dandridge stars with Harry Belafonte in the first “big budget” all-Black Hollywood movie.
Coming to America: Eddie as royalty, Arsenio as sidekick (predictably) and James Earl Jones as King Jaffe Joffer still stands the test of time. You know when you quote something 20 years later and people still laugh that it’s a classic. “Sexual Chocolate!” *drops mic*
Honorable mention to TV Movies/Miniseries: The Autobiography of Ms. Jane Pittman & Roots – the first starred Cicely Tyson, our answer to Meryl Streep; the second was an all-star cast in a story surrounding the life of Kunta Kinte and slavery in America. His name is Toby, ya'll.
Another Honorable Mention to: The Lion King – I don't care how close to the surface you carry your inner thug, no one could hate on Lion King. "In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the Lion sleeps tonight…" Sing it with me, you KNOW you know those words. Dammit, am I tearing up NOW thinking about Mufasa's death scene? A literal coming-of-age story of little Simba, they placed The Lion King in Africa so we claimed it. Yeah we did.
Okay BougieLand, whatcha got? Favorite "Chocolate Classic"? Least favorite? The floor is yours.