With “Black History Month” and “Women in Horror Month” dropping in February, I thought it’d be a lot of fun to post another installment of “Great Minority Movie Heroes,” a list of movie heroes that are also people of color. What started as a one shot list has become a project for me to find diverse movie heroes from various races that people of color can relate to. What are some of your favorites?
Curtis Jackson – “American Ninja” Movie Series
Curtis Jackson remains one of the most interesting heroes of the “American Ninja” series giving a very good dynamic off of Michael Dudikoff’s more James Dean-ish hero Joe Armstrong. Although they’re mostly adversaries in the original movie, they’re just in full on “Lethal Weapon” mode in “American Ninja 2,” as he’s tasked with teaming up with Armstrong. As Curtis, Steve James gets a ton of great moments in the original “American Ninja” series and never loses a step working off of Dudikoff.
Virgil Tibbs – In the Heat of the Night
Mr. Tibbs is a dignified and valiant hero in a climate where the world hasn’t quite accepted him yet. He has to do everything he can to fight for himself, all the while battling to solve a crime in “In the Heat of the Night.” It’s not enough that he has to face racial persecution, but also persecution from a small town desperately trying to hide a secret. Tibbs is an admirable series hero, and whether in the original movie, or the TV series, he’s easy to root for and aspire to be like.
Mr. Miyagi – Karate Kid, II, III, Next Karate Kid
Miyagi is a man who has to overcome his own personal demons in order to help young Daniel Larusso not only face his bullies, but prevent him from also descending in to some kind of darkness as he has. Daniel finds his strength in the original “Karate Kid” thanks to Miyagi, who is more centered than anyone, even when he’s drunk and unconscious on the floor of his house. His narrative logically comes to a close as he finds a way to resolve his own personal torment in the sequel thanks to Daniel Larusso, and it’s a compelling two part tale of the true hero of “Karate Kid.” Also, there’s Part three, and the attempted reboot. Those exist, too.
Abra Stone – Doctor Sleep (2019)
Abra Stone feels a lot like the person that Danny Torrance could have been and what he pretty much rejected thanks to his confrontation with pure evil and how it connected to his dad’s alcoholism. While much of her narrative is propped up for the sake of further stories with her, we’re left pondering on what change she could her in life and the positive change she could inspire within the realm of the Shining, and the evil that lurks outside awaiting her power. Stone is a much more focused and courageous hero than Danny and he knows that throughout “Doctor Sleep.” She’s a worthwhile heroine who masters her powers and possibly can keep the Shining in check to allow her to evade the forces of evil.
Miss Caroline – Little Monsters (2019)
Miss Caroline is a woman with a lot of her own personal problems who has devoted her entire life to helping kids, caring for kids, and helping kids find their own voice. When we first meet her, she’s Sandy Duncan in the flesh, singing to Taylor Swift, while strumming proudly with a ukulele. As she’s tasked with guarding them during a massive zombie outbreak, she has to keep herself together, while also invoking every single maternal urge within her to fend off against flesh eating zombies, and perverse kids hosts ready to let them die for the sake of self preservation. She’s a ballsy, truly selfless heroine that just might help you appreciate Taylor Swift a bit more.