Before he was meeting up with Donald Trump or naming the wrong woman Miss Universe, Steve Harvey has done a lot of things to piss people off. Especially the black community. Though they are happy to see one of themselves made it, they hate to see them become a coon.
According to Urban dictionary, a coon is a black actor, actress, entertainer or public figure who takes roles that stereotypically portrays black people. They think they’ve made it but they are slaves to the same images. Cooning is a verb derived from the word coon. A coon was/is a person of african decent whose sole purpose was/is to entertain white people. These 'coons' started out as wearing black face, characterized by having big eyes and painting big red lips on their face. These people would tap dance, play instruments and sing. Modern day coons are blacks who play stereotypical roles and black entertainers that promote ignorance. Cooning is someone is acting like a 'coon. Here are 3 times Steve behaved as a coon.
Back in 2014, Paula Deen was working hard to defend her character and win her career back after getting caught saying racist remarks. One of her effort to dispel reports of racist behavior was her partnership with Steve Harvey. On Oct. 2, the TV host announced on his show that Deen and her team would volunteer their time to teach culinary skills at his annual mentoring camp. One hundred fatherless young men attend Harvey’s camp in Dallas every year during Father’s Day weekend. Deen’s culinary lessons will be added to the other skills and principles that the young men learn while at the camp.
“When I’m sitting around a bunch of socialites and they start talking about the past and stuff, that’s my line,” Harvey continued. “I just say it and walk off. I have my little drink in my hand, I just say it. ‘I don’t really care for slavery,’ and walk off. I don’t give a damn if they’re talking about Christopher Columbus. I don’t give a damn if they’re talking about a treaty. I don’t give a damn if they’re talking about an amendment, a bill. I don’t care what the subject is. It could be prohibition,” he continued. “I don’t care what the subject is. When you’re saying it and I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about, my favorite line is, ‘I don’t give a damn about slavery”.
Did I mention he said it during black history month?
Did you know he slapped a guest while eating chicken and collard greens? If that doesn’t say cooning, I don’t know what will. Steve welcomed Ramone Dickerson and Corey Simmons from OWN’s "2 Fat 2 Fly." Ramone and Cory came up with the idea by creating the stuffed chicken wing and now have a reality series on OWN, which follows their food truck business. They came to Steve, looking for some advice from his "Act Like A Success" initiative, (I actually have that book, its a good read. Review coming soon)on how to take their business to the next level... but slapping one of them in front of a crowd of white folks isn’t empowering. I don’t know if it took them to the next level but it def made them look like a bunch of country folks hanging on Madea’s front porch.
Now Don’t get me wrong, I love Steve Harvey. He was a role model to me growing up. I loved his shows and felt like I was learning what it took to be a man from him. Was actually jealous of the kids who actually got to go to his program but now as an adult he got me wondering, what will he do to keep his success? Once black folks reach that level, its like they will do or say anything to keep it. It’s not his fault, thats just the name of the game of fame.
The other night, I was writing a movie with my crush and we found ourselves watching Spike Lee’s Malcolm X. We started talking about how much we enjoyed the film and then I told her “If you enjoy this film, you should check out the documentary series Hidden colors”. Her smiles fades and she looks me and say “oh Im not really into the pro-black thing”.
I was offended for two different reasons. 1 reason is because I considered myself pro black but I was really offended because I hate the stigma black history has. No one bats an eye when it comes to talking about Alexander the great, Christopher columbus or Napoleon. They don’t call it WHITE history. It’s just history.
Biopic Films like Milk or Ghandi isn’t and shouldn’t be separated from films like Malcolm X because its focus on someone black or the black struggle. It’s a part of our history. Why do people throw shade or discourage us when we talk about our history. I love history. All history. You have to study the past to know the future so why take out certain parts because it make other people nervous or sad. You don’t stop talking about the jewish holocust for the German sake?
I consider all history interesting. I think its fun imagining what the world was like before we had the knowledge and technology we had today. I want to use this blog to discuss all history. World history. I just don’t want people excluding black history just because it’s black!
I remember being in elementary school, hearing stories about the underground rail road and seeing it in my head like a suspense thriller like “Escape from New York” or “They Live”. Those slave narrative were action adventures in my head. Sure Django Unchained was not a true story but that was the action adventure I was dreaming about for years. Nate Parker’s Birth Of the Nation trailers should of been edited like the trailers of Django Unchained. I should of heard some Kanye in that trailer! The Root reboot was cool but when are we going to see a swashbuckling film about the moors? When are we going to produce a Django style action adventure about the Haitian revolution?
To be honest, those are projects Im developing. If I don’t produce them, who will tell our stories? I think at this point, it’s the only way to tell our stories since no one cares to discuss black history unless its set up like a marvel shared universe.