From never-ending political wrangling to murder, there’s enough serious stuff going on. I say let’s take a break from it, relax and have some fun for a change. In honor of the Oscars and Black History Month, here are “The Jones’ Top 10 Black Movie and Television Heroes and Villains.” Though “Django Unchained” has generated a ton of controversy, let me say up front that I’m rooting for everything Django!
10) It’s a tie: T’Challa the Black Panther (Marvel Comics). So what if he’s a comic book character? The king of a technologically advanced African nation who is also a badass superhero makes the list. Then there’s Buck and the Preacher (Sidney Poitier and Harry Belafonte in “Buck and the Preacher”). Buck was a master guide for blacks leaving the oppressive South, and the preacher carried a gun in his Bible. What’s not to like?
9) Another tie: Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith in “Independence Day”). Brother saves the world and has a “shoe-model” (that’s “stipper” for the unwashed) as his boo. Any man who shows the shoe-models love is all right with me! Also coming in at No. 9 is Nurse “Coffy” Coffin (Pam Grier in “Coffy”). Damn! I still have a crush on 1970s Pam Grier. Coffy was fine as hell and a head-knocker to boot. As the tagline for the film read, “They call her Coffy and she’ll cream you!” Lord have mercy!
8) Morpheus (Laurence “Don’t call me Larry” Fishburne in “The Matrix”). I might like him, but I’m sure Neo wants to beat him down for convincing him to take that damn red pill.
7) John Quincy Archibald (Denzel Washington in “John Q”). The ultimate father! “I’m not gonna bury my son! My son is gonna bury ME!” Remember that?
6) Master Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson in “Star Wars”). Bald-headed brother Jedi-Master rocking a light saber. Enough said.
5) President David Palmer (Dennis Haysbert in “24”). The first (and still coolest) black president. No disrespect Barack, but this brother was “ice.”
4) Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks in “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine”). The first featured black Starfleet commander. Somebody decided to give Hawk (Brooks’ “Spenser for Hire” character) photon torpedoes. Genius!
3) John Shaft (Shaft). It doesn’t matter if you take Richard Roundtree in ’71 or Samuel L. Jackson in 2000, Shaft is the man who’ll risk his neck for his brother man. You damn right!
2) Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier in “In the Heat of the Night”). Classic! “They call me Mr. Tibbs!” He could’ve just said, “Bow down, fool!”
1) Django (Jamie Foxx in “Django Unchained”). Yes, I’m a prisoner of the moment and this will probably change in a year or two, but right now — Django is the man.
10) Damon Pope (Harold Perrineau in “Sons of Anarchy”). This cat coolly tosses a cigar in a pit and burns Son’s member Tig’s daughter to death in front of her father. Chilling.
9) Bishop (Tupac Shakur in “Juice”). Before Bishop, Tupac is bouncing around with Humpty in “Digital Underground.” After Bishop, he’s flashing a “Thug Life” tat and threatening Biggie and Puff. Coincidence?
8) Gator (Samuel L. Jackson in “Jungle Fever”). The most off-the-chain crackhead ever!
7) Clubber Lang (Mr. T in “Rocky III”). “You better get that bad look off yo face before I knock it off.” Badass.
6) Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson in “Pulp Fiction”). “I dare you, I double dare you motherfucker, say ‘what’ one more goddamn time!”
5) Russell “Stringer” Bell (Idris Elba in “The Wire”). The criminal the fellas wanted to be and the ladies wanted to be with!
4) Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson in “Django Unchained”). At first, he comes across as an amusing loyal slave, only to later become downright terrifying.
3) Nino Brown (Wesley Snipes in “New Jack City”). The classic unrepentant black drug kingpin.
2) Darth Vader (James Earl Jones in “Star Wars”). I don’t care what anybody says, there’s a brother behind that mask!
1) Alonzo Harris (Denzel Washington in “Training Day”). “King Kong ain’t got shit on me!” Lonzo had no redeeming characteristics. His moral compass wasn’t broken. I think he was out for a beer the day God issued them.
Disagree with the picks? Let me know!