(L to R) Justice Smith as "Aren", David Alan Grier as "Roger" and Aisha Hinds as "Gabbard" in 'The American Society of Magical Negroes' (Credit: Tobin Yelland/Focus Features)

The American Society of Magical Negroes arrived in theaters on Friday, March 15, and grossed $1.3 million at the box office.

‘The American Society Of Magical Negroes’ Review

Survival. It’s all about survival. It remains so. The gigantic smile, the overload of excellent manners, being intelligent enough to impress but curtailing that intelligence so as not to intimidate.

These are but some of the techniques handed down from generation to generation of Black families in order to ensure safety, also known as survival.

As African Americans, much of life includes walking on eggshells: in the streets, in the corporate world, in America, period.

Upsetting the white demographic has proven catastrophic for Black folks (this is not hyperbole, check history and statistics), so it behooves this minority to tread lightly—right?

Unity is fine until the majority of the united feels threatened—right?

Well, in the new movie “The American Society of Magical Negroes,” a particular Black-owned business is dedicated to calming Caucasians’ calamities, by any means necessary.

Is this film the greatest thing since the Voting Rights Act, or is it worse than the Three-Fifths Compromise? Let’s go!

I got your slippers, your dinner, your dessert, and so much more. Anything you want, I want to cater to you!

“The American Society of Magical Negroes” stars David Alan Grier, Justice Smith, Nicole Byer, An-Li Bogan, and Drew Tarver.

Nicole Byer stars as “Dede” in writer/director Kobi Libii’s ‘The American Society of Magical Negroes,’ a Focus Features release. (Credit: Courtesy of Focus Features)

The term “Magical Negro” didn’t appear out of thin air.

Iconic director Spike Lee coined it decades ago, defining the label as a narrative device in which a Black supporting character exists solely to serve a white protagonist’s storyline.

Director Kobi Libii, a first-time director, took the magical task of conjuring up an entire motion picture from this term, but I’m not sure this is what Brother Spike had in mind.

Smith plays Aren, a young, struggling artist lacking confidence.

After a few uncomfortable exchanges with a mostly white crowd, bartender Roger, played by Grier, comes to his rescue but also introduces him to a secret society: The American Society of Magical Negroes, an organization committed to easing white people’s anxiety, because when white people are happy, Black people are safer.

This satirical depiction of Black/White interaction is highly innovative and had craaaazy potential, but uh ruh, Ervin Johnson had more magic than this film.

Libii meant well, but the plot was super convoluted.

Having an opportunity to display to the masses in a hilarious yet genuine way how African Americans must maneuver in a society not created for their benefit could’ve been groundbreaking.

(L to R) An-Li Bogan as “Lizzie” and Justice Smith as “Aren” in director Kobi Libii’s ‘The American Society of Magical Negroes,’ a Focus Features release. (Credit: Tobin Yelland / Focus Features)

Instead, “Magical Negroes” tries to co-exist as a romantic comedy AND significant satire. Two plots completely doom this movie.

The main character, Aren, pursues a love interest which takes away from the main story, morphs into a whole other story, but then tries to come back to the original topic.

Next thing you know, you’re watching two different films.

The 3rd act attempts to tie everything together, but alas, it’s too late.

Both storylines are compelling but too important for one film.

I wish the trope of White appeasement/Black survival could have been explored in detail.

The actors did a wonderful job with what they were given, but weak backstories and unprofessional camera angles sabotaged a prospective masterpiece.

Some scenes solicit a few emotions; however, as a whole, you’re disappointed in this film for not conveying the message of having to be subservient in order to live.

I’m giving “The American Society of Magical Negroes” a Straight-to-Streaming Co-sign.

This kind of topic is uncomfortable and could’ve created much-needed dialogue.

Unfortunately, the magic turned out to be an unfulfilling trick.

Watch the trailer below.

Did you see “The American Society of Magical Negroes?”

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