I have no appreciation whatsoever for Walt Disney’s one and only “black” Princess. Her name ended up being “Tiana” after I, and likely quite a few other people, sent Disney Studios a scathing e-mail about an attempt to call her “Maddie.” There they went (again) with the stereotypical “angry black woman“ model, disguised under a name.
In the end, not only was this alleged “Princess” from stereotypical New Orleans, but the worst moment of all was the ending, where (presumably since she is a black woman and can’t find a good man), the ‘handsome rich prince’ of other fairy tales turns her into a frog.
She has to lower herself to the amphibian status in order to be with the man of her dreams, who really isn't a man. Apparently, she wasn’t good enough for a handsome rich Black Prince, or even a Prince Rogers Nelson who could rock it in New Orleans. Hmpf.
Where the hayell is Eddie Murphy when people need him?
I will give Tyler Perry a pass for dressing up in a fat black woman suit; Madea has a real and sincere purpose in a black woman’s life.
She’s the only one who has a black woman’s back when the rest of the world has dumped on her and called her everything but a child of God. Madea is the only one who can be an angry black woman and be comfortable with it and know it isn’t because she’s mad, but because she’s being herself. Madea is “different.”
Martin (Big Mama's House) Lawrence and Eddie (Rasputia) Murphy trying to pull that off is no joke; nor is it funny. Their only purpose is pure laughter. Madea, on the other hand, is a teacher, a leader, a sideshow preacher, and a “big bad girl” all rolled into the pudge suit. I accept Madea.
But back to Eddie Murphy.
He created for us, with “Coming to America” not only one beautiful symbol of real black love, but imbedded within it some very three-dimensional beautiful black characters with cross-cultures across the Big Pond; and with that, a sense of black history and culture that was not only sensual, but beautifully planned and well executed.
Next year marks the 25th anniversary of this poignantly sophisticated and artistically deep movie that really should have won Academy Awards all the way around the table. He actually brought us America‘s First Black Princess in actress Shari Headley, ("Queen Lisa McDowell Jofre") and I for one, believe he can do it again.
I await the sequel to Coming to America, where Akeem and Lisa are now the King and Queen of Zamunda, King Jaffe is retired and has turned over his royal duties to his son, and Queen Aeolian, out of respect for the incomparable and beautiful and very much missed Ms Madge Sinclair, has passed on. They now have a 20-something year old daughter of their own who falls in love with a Zamundan man who is “beneath” her — and Prince Akeem, in the twisted facts of life, has become his father’s son.
Eddie is the only one who can pull this off.