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Is Hollywood Ready to Stop Stereotyping Africa?

In 1988, Eddie Murphy’s ‘Coming to America’ was a light-hearted comedy, but it was also groundbreaking for its depiction of a modern, prosperous African culture. Even so, in all the years since, only one other Hollywood feature film, ‘Black Panther,’ portrayed Africans in a similarly positive and evolved light. Now that Murphy’s sequel is set to hit theatres, the question needs to be asked whether anything much has changed. The contrived plot enables more back and forth between continents than in the first film, which was mostly set in the US, with Akeem visiting the Big Apple before returning with his newfound son back to the royal court in Zamunda. For the black diaspora,” Tesfaye says, “Africa becomes just one word for an entire continent. It’s important to understand that people who are a part of the history of the transatlantic slave trade don’t know where in Africa they are from. And that’s why the word Africa is a vague thing for them, because they don’t know.