Bamboozled ★★★★½

"Everybody wanna be a nigga, but nobody wanna be a nigga." - Paul Mooney

Life imitates art.

Rachel Dolezal, who changed her name to Nkechi Amare Diallo, is a woman who became the president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP after masquerading as a black woman for years. News broke in 2015 after her parents exposed the fact that she had no black ancestry whatsoever.

"Everybody wanna be a nigga, but nobody wanna be a nigga."

In Bamboozled, ManRay, a tap dancer, tap dances on top of a table in front of a white TV network executive to get a job on TV. Circa 2014, rapper Bobby Schmurda shucked and jiv-, I mean, danced on a table in front of a room full white executives of Epic Records.

Life imitates art.

Bamboozled has proven to be genius in the way it tackles coonery and minstrelsy in black entertainment. It was prophetic in its portrayal. I would say this is more relevant today than it was when it was released. This was released before hip-hop was the #1 genre in the world. Before the advent of “niggerfishing”, where white Instagram models use make-up to pretend to be black women. Before white kids on Reddit made Chicago gang violence a spectator sport. Back when “black” wasn’t as trendy.

"Everybody wanna be a nigga,

Even with “black” being as trendy as it is, it seems like actual black people are never given the benefit of the doubt. Black people are still being shot by police at alarming rates and are having the police called on them doing regular everyday activities. Black people face discrimination even in the medical field, as they are seen as tougher and able to take more pain. A black tear isn’t equal to a white tear. Black people are being forced out of communities by white yuppies who are attracted to the culture of the communities that the black people built. The criminal justice system still seems rigged against us. America still seems rigged against us.

but nobody wanna be a nigga"

Spike Lee’s satire of black portrayal in the entertainment industry might have been a failure critically and financially upon release, but 20 years later, it is much needed and proved to be ahead of its time.

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