I have a new article published at Clarkesworld, titled “Super Duper Sexual Spiritual Black Woman: The New and Improved Magical Negro.”
“In 2001, Spike Lee popularized the term the Super Duper Magical Negro (SDMN) while speaking to students at Washington State and Yale University. The reference was about the stereotype of the magical Black person who is written into the story to help the white protagonist on his journey. The characters are often uneducated, male, and desexed. They do not have families of their own (The Stand‘s Mother Abigail—the human race is her family) or desires of their own (The Legend of Bagger Vance‘s titular character—his sole purpose is to help the white character). Nor do they exist outside of the white characters’ constructed idea of them (Noah Cullen—willingly dies to protect the white criminal character in The Defiant Ones). None of this is news. Everyone’s been bombarded with the image of the passive, Black person who only wants to serve.
A little-mentioned incarnation of this archetype, however, has gone relatively ignored or unrecognized….
Read the rest of the article here.