The American Society of Magical Negroes is a magic-comedy that satirizes the Spike Lee-coined term 'Magical Negro,' that restricts and stereotypes black people in illogical roles and situations.
Focus Features has dropped the much-anticipated trailer of The American Society of Magical Negroes, and it has riled fans and critics up in different ways, due to its satirical take on the ‘magical negro’ trope. The term ‘magical negro’ was coined by filmmaker Spike Lee in 2001 at his Yale session in Calhoun College’s dining hall.
It traces the reincarnation of the known, racist notion of the 'noble savage’ or ‘happy slave.’ He cited four examples, ranging from The Legend of Bagger Vance to Green Mile. In simpler words, ‘magical negro’ refers to the stereotypical notion of black characters in possession of special powers, using them for the benefit of white people, but not doing anything explicitly for their own benefit or good.
Marking the directorial debut of Kobi Lobii, the film premiers at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2024. It will also be released theatrically on March 22, 2024. It dropped its trailer on December 15, 2023, and it has been nothing short of a proper fusion of a satirical commentary and a rom com. It offers a basic outline of the film’s plot, by asking all the right questions in the trailer, without revealing the answers.
Starring Justice Smith as the protagonist Aren, the trailer follows the racial microaggressions and subtle prejudices he faces, as he tries to make the world around him comfortable, forgetting to prioritize himself in the process. Luckily for him, the eponymous magical organization is hiring.
Initiated abruptly but open-heartedly, Aren is introduced to a world of magic and old-fashioned privilege, where the task of the magical Blacks is fighting “white discomfort every day. Because the happier they are, the safer we are,” according to the trailer. However, priorities clash when Aren starts liking a female coworker, whom his first client also likes.
A fresh take on a risqué genre, since 2022’s The Blackening, The American Society of American Negroes promises a sweet romcom along with a valuable discussion done via laughs and cringes.