His pastor is scary because it means maybe Obama is not the Magic Negro after all. By the way, the pastor is pretty melodramatic, but have you been to an old school American Black church? Pure theater. But this guy’s basic point is true: that American Blacks (certainly those his age) know an America different from American Whites; they know a harsher, uglier America. But you’re not supposed to say that, because in America everything is fine and everyone is the same. So now that the pastor’s said it, maybe Obama thinks so too, and if Obama thinks so then he isn’t the Magic Negro and only a Magic Negro can win an American election. And what’s a Magic Negro, you ask? The black man who is eternally wise and kind. He never reacts under great suffering, never gets angry, is never threatening. He always forgives all kinds of racist shit. He teaches the white person how to break down the sad but understandable prejudice in his heart. You see this man in many films. And Obama is straight from central casting.

(Americanah, page 398)

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