African Men, Hollywood Stereotypes (video)

[Video Link] A new video for Mama Hope, by Joe Sabia and crew.

Wouldn't it be better if African men weren't always depicted as warlords or victims?

Written by Benard, Brian, Derrick, Gabriel and the Mama Hope Team

Directed and Edited by Joe Sabia

Executive Produced and Shot by Bryce Yukio Adolphson

Produced by Nyla Rodgers

Motion Graphics by Jason Chandra

Sound by Equal Sonics

Original Music by Michael Thurber


    1. Or the bumbling main character in a sci-fi allegory of the Aparthei—oh. We’re talking about BLACK African men… never mind.

  1. This was fantastic. They need one of these for just about every swarthy ethnic people ever portrayed in Hollywood movies in the last 10 years!

    1. Not just the swarthy ones. Albinos have a bum rap, too. Y’know, except for the magic ones like Powder.

      1. Ridiculous. Albino actors have filled many roles in Hollywood!

        1. Ruthless Assassin
        2. Minion
        3. Minion to a Ruthless Assassin
        4. Primary antagonist in a “Moby Dick” adaptation
        5. Low-budget ghost

  2. I watch this video and I can only think one thing:

    It’s a shame that that aspiring surgeon is going to be gunned down in an anonymous war over diamond mining rights someday. But, when you live by the machine gun, you die by the machine gun.

      1. The trouble is the vagueness of “by”. Maybe he means “when you live beside the machine gun, you die because of the machine gun”.

    1. The accent is a bit thick?  I’ve noticed this watching PBS docs that even when the person is speaking English, if they have a foreign or heavy regional accent they will subtitle it. Maybe some people have more difficulty understanding accented English then others?

      1. Can’t remember where I saw this, but there was a joke with two guys talking, and one gets subtitles. He gets annoyed that he’s the one with the subtitles.

    2.  I think the diction of one of the guys is a little hard to understand; they probably didn’t want to make him feel bad by applying the subtitles only when he spoke.

  3. I’d suggest mixing things up, but seeing as how China is becoming quite the popular Hollywood investor the only target left are ….  Tibetans. Those damn evil spontaneously combusting peasants!

  4. Yeah, but did you see the blooper reel? At one point they accidentally undermine the entire message by riddling the cameraman with machine gun bullets in the middle of a grim one-liner.

    1. They were in the process of filming for the Understanding American Girls Documentary series, but the entire film crew was killed.  With machine guns.  And rocket launchers.

  5. The first actual and protracted contact I had with a bonafide African male was during a stint in the Model United Nations at university. I found his “otherness” intriguing and he was such a natural, laid back guy, like when he casually announced that he was off to hire a prostitute one night (!)

    I wish I had kept in contact with him. That one, short-lived time with him steered me towards having a decidedly positive outlook towards Africans and if anything, made me biased in their favour.  

    1. MY first experiences with African men were the ZANU operatives in the Bay Area, with whom I worked quite closely for a number of years. Funnily enough, they were putting together arms and other resources for a revolution. YMMV.

  6. To be fair, Africans in African action movies are no different. And statistically, the main recurring bad guy in Hollywood movies is the American government.

    1. Really? African movies have no more variety than that in their portrayals of African men? Or is it that they actually do, but you’re only remembering the characters who fit the stereotypes?

    2. To be fair, Africans in African action movies are no different.

      To be sure, most action movies tend to wallow in paper-thin stereotypes. The big problem is that it’s so rare for Hollywood to made a film set in Africa which isn’t an action movie. Other ethnicities and nationalities get featured in romantic comedies, mysteries, fantasy films, teen sex romps, adventure stories, dramatic biopics, sci-fi films, period pieces, angst-filled vampire snore-fests, etc. But almost all African men depicted in film (especially black African men) are either action-movie stereotypes or an inconsequential extras.

  7. I love that they are offering the blooper reel for as little as one Paypal’d dollar – great marketing, team!

    And remember, this is the same fantastic group that brought us Call Me Hope.  Keep up the good work!

  8. Hollywood sends the same racial stereotypes down from central casting for every film imaginable. Yet another reason not to waste 120 minutes of your life ingesting one. 

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