Good lord. Surely there was some real sociologist to cite. Lots of folks can jabber about the larger meaning of the "Magic Negro" in THE GREEN MILE, or a dozen other movies. (This is a little different from the black crewman on STAR TREK, the guy you had never seen before, who would be eaten as soon as they beam down to the planet by some papier mache blob.)
Instead, LATimes cites the freakin' WIKI. The apocalypse.
I guess the WIKI doesn't have to return the reporter's call. And the WIKI loves you. It really, really loves you.
(Nod to AV, who would cite the WIKI too, if he could type better. But I hear Yalies have neighborhood kids to do that stuff for them...)