The views expressed inside this editorial aren’t necessarily the views of AllHipHop.com or its employees.
It’s been almost 20 long years since Robert Townsend first released his classic film “Hollywood Shuffle.” This breakthrough movie was a satirical look at the relationship between big time producers and African American actors scraping for a piece of the glamorous Tinsel Town pie. While Bobby Taylor (Townsend’s lead character) hoped to land more heroic roles that positively represented Black folk, he was always forced into demeaning and distasteful stereotypes.
Although in recent years we have seen some sweeping changes in the industry with Black actors landing leading roles and receiving accolades for their performances, much has stayed the same. Most of us African Americans quietly felt as if Denzel Washington and Halle Berry’s monumental Oscar winning night solidified our acting movement – even if their roles weren’t their finest. We all know “Malcolm X” was the one for Washington. It now seems as if those Oscars were simply a pair of massive S### biscuits to keep Black people smiling for a few years.
Although Denzel, Halle, Will Smith, and Samuel Jackson continue to thrive, many of our less fortunate African American actors are put between a rock and the wall by either working as an unbecoming character, or not working. Recently, many of our most revered Hip Hop artists, who placed their acting skills in the Hollywood arena, have been put in industry headlocks just like ol’ Bobby Taylor 20 years ago. Awwwww, pat them on the back because they really don’t have much of a choice or do they?
So let’s advance a step further for those actors who feel the desperate need to work at any cost to their dignity regardless of the effect on the general population. I have a developed an introductory course. Coonology 101 will teach each and every Black actor how to work professionally in Hollywood for an entire lifetime. Follow this simple course guideline and you’re guaranteed to land roles in major productions-FOREVER.
Course name: Coonology 101
Required viewings (not complete):
TV Shows: “Doggy Fizzle Television,” “The Parkers,” “The Little Rascals,”
Movies: “How High, “Soul Plane,” “Malibu’s Most Wanted,” “Bamboozled” “Hollywood Shuffle,” “Bringing Down the House,” “Jerry McGuire (Cuba Gooding),” “White Chicks,” “Juwanna Mann,” “I Got Da Hook-Up”
Topics of Course Discussion:
1. The Evolution of cooning
Back in the day, we would buck our eyes out and tap dance all over the damn place. This is something that truly opened the doors, which were barely cracked in the dawning of film and television. Black America would never go for that type of basic cooning now. Today we must coon by making light of other new millennium stereotypes that have been placed on our people. Spike Lee referred to this as an “advanced form of coonery and buffoonery,” when referring to “Soul Plane.”
2. The African American Sex drive
A coon, must salivate and chase every b######## tail or set of huge breasteses that we see. This testosterone overload could lead to multiple babies’ mommas or baby daddies. For all the hypersexuality, the interracial dating is still forbidden.
3. The White Black contrast
Coons must always emphasize the stark difference in Black and White people. These differences can come in the form of language differences or cultural differences. However, you must slip your coonery in under the guise of making fun of how corny or bland White America is. Or you have to laugh until your eyes bug out of your head.
4. Voice inflection
To portray our people effectively, you must have proper voice tone and inflection. This means that your voice goes from loud, to louder. Never calm, never rational. At times it can fluctuate into a high-pitched scream like “DY-NO-MITE!!” “OHHHHHH SHIIIIIT,” is very popular today because even Black men can hit an octave that rivals Mariah Carey with it. In the 70’s, “You, jive a** turkey” was an appropriate term and now its either “n***a, b***h, punk a** mother f***er, b***ch a** n***a, b***ch a** mother f***er, mother f***n’ mother f***er, b***ch a** b***ch or innumerable combinations.
The use of certain words is essential in coonery. N***a is the most important word that you have to us it like a crack head uses crack – as much as possible. Other words that demean women are important too. B***ch is the most popular, but ho, w#### and s### are gaining fast. In the movie “Soul Plane,” a movie written by a hip-hop label head, an astonishing 146 “n***as were reeled off by the actors. This took the movie to new heights of coonery that would make a normal person’s nose bleed.
6. Food and drinks
Learn how to stomach a 40 ounce of OE. Weed is an essential daily intake. And the usual chicken, collard greens, and watermelon are a must. Learn how to drink, smoke and eat all of these items. Remember you can’t do without these delicacies in film video or movies. F**K water and bread. Learn how to eat n***a style. If you go to into an upscale restaurant where these Negro treats aren’t served, it’s a must that you mask your inability to read a menu correctly. Redd Foxx did this so eloquently in the hit series ‘Sanford and Son.’ Botch up all the words, then get frustrated and say “ That s**t gives me gas.”
7. Under qualified
Always appear under qualified for every important position. Whether you are a pilot afraid of heights like Snoop in “Soul Plane,” or going to college like Meth and Red in “How High,” you must be placed in your position on a technicality or a hook up by one of your n**gas. Another great example is “White Chicks,” which stars the Wayans Brothers. The pair play two disgraced Black FBI agents who have to resort to “becoming” white women to keep working. Another tip is when things go wrong, always look scared or disheveled when attempting to work it out. Never under any circumstances, do you complete a mission successfully or display competence. If you do, it has to be assisting a superior, more heroic, white man. Props to Danny Glover (a very respectable man in real life) for being the bumbling sidekick in the ‘Lethal Weapon’ trilogy. While Mel did the tight stunts, Danny was being the supportive Black buffoon, even getting caught taking a dump on a bomb laced toilet.
As a coon, your main goal is to make people laugh at any costs. If that means doing the Chicken head in the middle of a church service…you must. Momma Payne from ‘Martin’ always caught the holy spirit in Church and she would always manage to transform that into some tight break dancing moves. If you have to poke your eyes and lips out and say “What the F**k is you talking bout n**ga,” do it. Do whatever it takes to make people bust a gut, you coon, you!
9. The Defense
The last and most important aspect in today’s coonery is the
infallible “Defense.” Because of all these “Pro-Black” leaders and groups, a good defense is something that a coon should always be armed with. Draw similarities between popular white shows in which the performers have acted idiotic. Explain that it’s just a comedy and it’s not to be taken seriously. Rationalize that it’s only aimed at certain class, not a race. Kramer from “Seinfeld” is a good reference point as a classic clown who, if Black, would be widely panned.
Remember, all these critics are taking things way too seriously. They are just “hating” when they should be glad to see a brother – eh-hem-coon- doing good. They should merely be pleased that you are “eating,” not concerned with stereotyped roles and stale ideas.
This class is for all wanna-be actors and artists who decide that the coon and buffoon is a viable option to keep their flickering name in the fading limelight.
Course Cost : A low fee of your dignity, self-respect, and your career