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"Who is the man, that'll risk his neck for his brother man?? Shaft!! Right on."
Lyrics from the Theme Song from Shaft.

Alright! You've gotten your Ensemble Cast. The Quiet One has retreated to his trailer and Action Girl may or may not be sleeping with The Smart Guy. The Hero's demands for three pounds of blue M&M's have been met. The script is a sure-fire hit.

But something's missing. Something... funky. A character to provide kickass quotes to be tossed around the Internet. Apparently Samuel L. Jackson is interested in the project. Yes.

Enter Soul Brotha. This man is a Badass. He is pure coolness. He speaks in a slang at once incomprehensible and utterly groovy, and he sho can groove. If he dies (and heck, he probably will) it will be in the coolest way imaginable. He may or may not have an afro, but he will certainly be Black. Expect him to ask where all the white women are.

The reason for this is the idea[1] that African-Americans are somehow inherently cooler than their Caucasian neighbors. Part of this is the fact that most American music developed in the 20th Century has roots in the African-American community. Jazz, Blues, Soul, Hip-Hop, Funk, and yes, even Rock n' Roll. And although the aesthetic of cool itself has had a long history worldwide, the term "cool" itself was also first used by African-Americans. Cinema gold. Or not. Sometimes an actor, especially a comedic one, may take the role a bit too far.

See also Black Best Friend. One of the few roles where there (usually) isn't a such thing as But Not Too Black. (Justified Trope? No? Maybe? At least Rule of Cool?)

Examples of Soul Brotha include:

Anime and Manga



 Anne: Yeah, Mike, why is Ricky doing the Black column?

Mike: We wanted an outsider's perspective.

Anne: Non-music?

Mike: Non-Black.

Anne: I don't know how to tell you this, Mike, but Ricky's Black.

Ricky: I know what he means. Any black man who's educated and speaks articulately is not considered "really" black.

  • Luke Cage during his Hereos For Hire days, though what started as being characterized as a flamboyant hustler has since changed to a more stern nature in modern comics.



Live Action Television

  • Gunn in Angel.
  • Detective Rico Tubbs of the Miami Vice Squad.
  • Lead, of Sapphire and Steel fame, is a very amusing example.
  • Linc Hayes in The Mod Squad.
  • Lampshaded and subverted with Turk in Scrubs.
  • Orginal Cindy in Dark Angel.
  • Mr T in The A-Team. Because, well, DUH.

Professional Wrestling

  • Back in the '70s, professional wrestler "The Soulman" Rocky Johnson was the very embodiment of this trope. He passed along a generous quantity of his coolness to his son -- a guy you might know as The Rock.
  • Indy wrestler Human Tornado is this trope.

Real Life

  • Former West Indies cricketer and commentator Michael Holding, especially as impersonated in the Twelfth Man series. ("The Aussies love listening to me, mahn. I sound so cool.")
    • So cool is he, in fact, that he even managed to live down the time a commentator said "The Batsman's Holding, the Bowler's Willey".
  • Snoop Dogg .

Video Game



  • In the musical Passing Strange, there actually is a song named "Soul Brother", in which the young, middle-class Youth starts a punk rock band with his friends. They sing lines such as "My mother stands in doorways beggin' me to conform/Be a good, football playin' snazzy-dressing brother/so the sisters can be able/ to tell you to from the others" and "So Roots blew your MIND?! I learned that shit in third Ms Madeira's class".


Web Series

Western Animation

  • Eddie Murphy in Disney's Mulan, despite being set in imperial China.
  • Jazz and Blaster in the original Transformers cartoon were the two Autobots most into Earth music and culture. Naturally, they both were voiced by black actors (trivia: in Jazz's case, by awesome character actor Scatman Crothers). In the IDW comic series, where the Autobots are shown using holographic avatars, that used by Jazz is, naturally, a black man.
  • Frozone in The Incredibles. When he makes his first appearance in his street clothes when he enters the Parr family residence, "cool" is the first thing that comes to your mind, which is appropriate, given his ice powers. Being voiced by Samuel L. Jackson may have something to do with that. And he has 'Fro in his name. All together now: "Where is my super-suit?"
  • Spoofed with URL, the robot cop occasionally seen on Futurama along with his Fry-soundalike partner Smitty, who talks like one.
  • Frylock, of Aqua Teen Hunger Force, has aspects of this. In other ways, however, he is a huge nerd.
    • Boxy Brown is this trope combined with Scary Black Man. Of course, he's just a box.

 Boxy Brown: I'm just a what, bitch?!

Troper: Y-You are the Duke of New York, you are A-Number-One!

Boxy Brown: Hahahaha, yeeeaaaah!

  1. A trope, actually. In fact, this trope.