The other day I unveiled a new persona, Intellectual Chocolate, and as usual many of my friends thought it was insane. Of course those who got the Coming to America reference were grateful for an opportunity to wax poetic about that ingenious piece of cinema. Along with Eddie and Arsenio the film featured late eighties heavyweights like John Amos, Louie Anderson, Vanessa Bell Calloway and James Earl Jones, as well as a cameo by some dude named Samuel L. Jackson. This list does not even include folks like Garcelle Beauvais, Cuba Gooding Jr, Frankie Faison and Eriq La Salle, all of whom also became household names. (Now if you don't know who Frankie Faison is, then you need to get on amazon/netflix or whatever and cop the first three seasons of The Wire.)
There's another reason why intellectual chocolate came to life; if you ever get a chance try checking out Hazel Carby's book Race Men. Of particular concern here is chapter 1 where she discusses the intense valorization of W.E.B. Du Bois by certain black male scholars. Thinking back to Carby's argument in that book, brought to mind an Easter present that I have been incubating in my fridge.
When these two visions were combined with the sweet memories of days long gone where Coming to America was a vhs staple--a new figure was born--Intellectual Chocolate.
I don't know what will become of Intellectual Chocolate but in the meantime all that I can say is "How sweet it is"