The History Of Token White Characters In Black Movies

2004: Chrishelle (Shannon Elizabeth) in Johnson Family Vacation

A recurring purpose of the Token White Character is to flip the script and put white actors in roles that are normally reserved for Token Blacks. Hence, your non-black family road movie would totally feature the fam running across an eccentric African-American, but here we have Shannon Elizabeth stepping up to the plate. Chrishelle is crazy with an extra heaping of quirk—she has a pet alligator—and if Bow Wow was old enough at the time, you can bet his character would've tried to smash.

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