Talking about black people is generally fun and a great time-pass activity, even more so, our “blackness” is determined by what content we are watching. However, as far as the Coming to America is concerned, it is not a time-pass; if you are a grown-up person who associates with being black and you have never seen this film, then you probably need to get a reality check to ensure that you are actually black or not.
The most hilarious and the most well portrayed among the over 40 films that Eddie Murphy has been a part of, Coming To America released three decades ago during a presidential campaign that witnessed George H.W. Bush enter the White House a few months later. It wasn’t the only or the first hit that Murphy had in the 1980s, as he was a popular actor after the Beverly Hills Cop movies, but, Coming to America was the first genuinely blackish-black movie which didn’t involve him playing the part of a comedian alongside stiff white people.
Don’t forget that this was the 1980s, we are talking about, and the director of the film was a white man called John Landis (Thriller), so the movie’s depiction of Africa, its culture and practices might appear offensive to contemporary audiences. However, the portrayal of the imaginary African county called Zamunda might be the closest predecessor to the Wakanda that we saw in Black Panther.
Coming to America turned out to be a showcase for the talent of black people back in the time before artists like Spike Lee and Tyler Perry made it a routine in their movies. Actors like Samuel L. Jackson and Cuba Gooding, Jr. (he didn’t even have dialogues), enjoyed great success in Hollywood.
Coming to Americais also among the most quotable films ever made, and there is a reason why the numerous short clips of the film have millions of views each on YouTube. If you ever see a black person in the age bracket of 30-50 who can’t spontaneously quote four scenes from the movie, don’t ever trust them or let them get close to your kids or home.
Have a look at some of the most unforgettable scenes from this iconic film!
1. Akeem’s Morning Ritual
2. Sexual Chocolate
3. The Barbershop Scenes
4. Soul Glo Commercial
5. The Club Scene
6. Everything about Imani’s Introduction