THAT OLD BLACK MAGIC
Does Barack Obama make white people feel safe?
By J. Kelman,  Newser User
Posted Mar 20, 2007 10:21 AM CDT
US NEWS OBAMA 6 MCT    (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – As if Barack Obama did not face enough obstacles, the junior senator from Illinois with Oval Office aspirations is likened to a "magic negro" by David Ehrenstein. The "magic negro" is a cultural and cinematic racial stereotype exemplified by some of the characters played by Sidney Poitier, Scatman Crothers, Morgan Freeman, Don Cheadle and others.

Charismatic, courageous, insightful, or in some other way magically endowed, they enter a plot, virtually from nowhere, to help a white protagonist. "He's there to assuage white guilt," Ehrenstein says, "while replacing stereotypes of a dangerous, highly sexualized black man with a benign figure for whom interracial sexual congress holds no interest."