Likewise, Benjamin Buford Blue, immortalized as “Bubba” in Forrest Gump, functions as the Magical Negro character of the timeless film. During the Vietnam War, Bubba befriends Forrest; the two share a diminished mental capacity, serve in the same platoon and have a similar Southern origin. Bubba describes to Forrest his unusual fondness for shrimp and dreams of creating a shrimping company after the war. Unfortunately, their platoon is ambushed leaving Bubba dead. Forrest rescues Bubba’s remains and is rewarded with the Medal of Honor for his valor in Vietnam. Upon his return to the United States and short-li...
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... are Black Americans. Unlike the stereotypical view of lower-class urban one parent families that film and media often depict of the Black existence in America, the Josephs have not only attained the American Dream in Mother Joe’s generation, but have continued on to do so in her daughter’s generation. For the same criticism that whites and Blacks hurled The Cosby Show received for portraying an idealistic or unattainable lifestyle for Black Americans to aspire, Soul Food presented Blacks as average and ordinary, but most importantly equal to whites. The characters in Soul Food are not dependent on whites to rebuild their family structure, but focus on internal concerns and tackle those issues from within. The film does not provide audiences with an overt political or social message, but posits a compelling narrative for the foundations of American family structures.
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