The token black friend is one of the longest-standing film archetypes of all time, but Black Hollywood is all about turning those archetypes on their head. When looking at the poster for Think Like A Man, which had a strong showing at the box office last weekend and stars notable black actors including comedic powerhouse Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, and Romany Malco, we couldn't help but notice how hilariously Turtle Jerry Ferrara stands out from the rest of the pack. History has a lengthy account of all the memorable token black characters, but where is the comprehensive list of token whites? Look no further, we got you covered.
But first, the criteria. Those featured were one of the only prominent white characters in their respective black films, if not the only white overall. Also, they usually fulfill one of three standard roles within the narrative. Number one is, of course, the antagonist, almost undoubtedly a racist as well. Then, in keeping with the changing times, we have number two, the White Fish Out of Water, whose curiosity is piqued by African-American culture. Finally there's number three, the fully assimilated white guy. Sometimes he wears du-rags (though we have no idea why), the slang rolls off of his tongue with ease, and he's draped up and dripped out in whatever the rappers are currently wearing. Without further ado, here is The History of Token White Characters in Black Movies.
Written by Frazier Tharpe (@The_SummerMan)