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DIGITS: Top 10 Most Powerful Black Male Characters in Film

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Let’s be honest. In real life, Black men have it pretty tough. Of all human species in America, Black men have the lowest mortality rates of all nationalities, with the exception of Native Americans. Jails from coast to coast are still filling with Black men at an alarming rate, and they have become a part of the business plan as the prison system has become privatized.

Many Black men only see entry points to wealth and opulence though Hip-Hop and sports, and even then they are faced with profiling, persecution, victimization. And then there are the frequent times when the Black men are their own worst enemy.

With that, I want to present the Top 10 Most Powerful Black Male Characters in Film. Why? In Hollywood, there are innumerable examples of White male man power. Superman, Batman, Luke Skywalker, Spiderman, nearly every character Tom Cruise has played and the list goes on and on. Here is a list to inspire all, in particular Black men, and offer a different authority for a new era.

1) “God” as played by Morgan Freeman in Bruce Almighty & Evan Almighty (2003)

For a decades Five Percent Nation rappers like Rakim and King Sun have maintained that the Black man is god (along with the Black woman being the Earths), but having Hollywood co-sign the notion felt vanglorious. In Bruce Almighty, a whiney complainer played by Jim Carey gets a visit by the Big Guy. God came back for an encore in 2007′s Evan Almighty and got another White brother to do something Biblical.

2) “Robert Neville” as played by Will Smith in I Am Legend (2007)

In I Am Legend Will Smith took his block-buster heroics to new heights – he saved the human race after a White woman’s failed attempt to cure cancer nearly wiped everybody out. But, not only did he save the race, he fended off a new breed of humanoid zombies that were the result of the jacked up cure. In the movie, Robert Neville was a scientist, military man and ultimately a martyr.

3) “Candyman” as played by Tony Todd in Clive Barker’s Candyman (1992)

He said, “Say my name, say my name, say my name, say my name, say my name” way before Beyonce came around to make it a pop tune. This name: Candyman. The game: horror. Candyman is the only horror flick to have a Black man as the frightening lead. In most horror flicks, the Black people were the first to die in the most disrespectful way possible. Candyman offered his prey to “be my victim” and they accepted. Moreover, the Candymen I knew were drug dealers!

4) “Morpheus” as played by Lawrence Fishburne in The Matrix trilogy

In mythology, Morpheus is the Greek god of dreams. In The Matrix, he was a cool cat that was designated help Neo tap into his unknown abilities. Morpheus, a war captain, helps to lead about 100,000 soldiers in a revolution against the Matrix. Some might argue that Morpheus was the real Neo, but his job of finding and cultivating the “One” is just as important as being one. Without Morpheus, the “One” is a big zero.

5) “Del Spooner” as played by Will Smith in I, Robot (2004)

Who are you going to call when hordes of humanoids up and decide to think for themselves one day? Not Ghostbusters. You call a robo-hater, techaphobic named Del Spooner. Spoonie was the one they called to prevent the created from implementing martial law on he creators. He hate turned into love as the robots were eventually freed like slaves and Del embraced his left arm, which was bionic. If Del wasn’t Black, you would almost accuse the movie makers of symbolic racism.

6) “Thulsa Doom” as played by James Earl Jones in Conan The Barbarian (1982)

Before Arnold was the governor of California, or even The Terminator, he was Conan the Barbarian. In the movie of he same name, cult leader Thulsa Doom was the ruler of the savage world and gave Conan a lust for revenge after he murdered his whole entire family and village just for living. Blessed with evil, Thusla Doom was able to turn himself into a giant snake and his followers would donate virgin girls to him as the ultimate sacrifice. Furthermore, Doom could take a pet snake and turn it into an arrow for his mighty longbow. In the literary world, he was immortal, so he is still alive somewhere…even if only in our hearts. Word to the Children of Doom.

7) “Mace Windu” and “Lando Calrissian” as played by Samuel Jackson and Billy Dee Williams in the Star Wars franchise.

First there was Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) in The Empire Strikes Back, (1980) who was a very powerful brother/ hustler/ entrepreneur/ gambler from another galaxy. Sadly, he caved in to Darth Vader and passed his friend Han Solo over to a bounty hunter. He lost some of his respect, but Lando did go back and help rescue Solo later so he was redeemed. So, we move forward to another Black man from a land far, far away – Mace Windu. Windu was one of the most prominent warriors in the High Jedi Council in Star Wars when they started those kooky prequels like 1999’s Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. Strong, bold and demanding and Windu was just outstanding. A true Jedi Master, he was, with a light saber style the girls love and the foes hated.

8) “The Black President Tom Beck” as played by Morgan Freeman in Deep Impact (1998)

Generally, the president of the United States is considered the leader of the free world. What if a gigantic comet strikes the Earth and creates and extinction level event? That was the dilemma faced by President Tom Beck. Guess what? He wasn’t late to saving the Earth. He didn’t have one fight with his baby moms, and he didn’t appear in a rap video. He sent out a crew of astronauts to land on that seven-mile wide meteor and blow it up with a nuclear explosive. Through it all, some of the damn thing still hit the Earth and thousands and thousands were killed. The president ends up making a speech about rebuilding the world. Imagine what Beck would do with something like Katrina.

9) “Spawn” as played by Michael Jai White in Spawn (1997)

Before Al Simmons turned into Spawn, he was an assassin for the U.S. Government. After his murderous spree ends, a governmental official orders his death. After he is killed, Simmons goes straight to Hell, where makes a deal with the Devil just so he can see his wife again. See how much a man can love his wife? On Earth, as an agent of the Lord of Darkness, Spawn makes for an interesting and conflicted hero. There is Hell on Earth and Hell in Hell for a Black man.

10) “Blade” as played by Wesley Snipes in Blade

Wesley Snipes might be having issues with the government on tax charges, but he sure was a bad dude in 1998’s Blade. Blade was a half-vampire, half-mortal man that was all Black! He was bequeathed himself with the weighty responsibility of guarding the entire mortal race from murderous and evil vampires. He certainly had to face a lot of prejudice, being a Black vampire, but that didn’t stop him from protecting all.

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11) “Clubber Lang” as played by Mr. T in Rocky III

We all know when Mr. T played Clubber Lang in Rocky III, there was no way in bloody hell Rocky Balboa would really beat his hulking nemesis if it was anywhere near reality. Fortunately, the guy that created Rocky was the same guy that starred it in. After Clubber Lang inadvertently slays Rocky’s trainer Mickey and then demolishes Rock, you would think that would be the end of it, right? No. Rocky eventually comes back to win after he gets inspired, but every step of the way Clubber Lang was the man of men, down to inviting Rock’s wife to see a “real man” in his apartment. Chuuuuch!

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