It’s been a long time coming, or has it?
The highly anticipated sequel of the classic 1988 film Coming to America is now on Amazon Prime Video. Long-time fans of the original movie have been waiting to continue Prince Akeem's adventure (Eddie Murphy).
But the cultural impact of Coming to America and Coming 2 America has always been a part of the Black and African diaspora. In an exclusive clip obtained by BET.com titled “The Cultural Impact,” executive producer Kenya Barris, John Amos, Arsenio Hall, Eddie Murphy, and the rest of the cast give their perspective on the lineage and influence the film has had for the last 33 years.
“It’s the Black fairytale,” Barris says of the film written for Black people and starring Black people.
Amos, who plays Cleo McDowell, says that there is so much to enjoy with the film, from the colorful costumes to Murphy’s phenomenal performance. “Put it all together, and you got a hit.”
“Eddie was one of the biggest stars of the world but getting this opportunity to create a land where we weren’t just poor, we weren’t just this, we weren’t just anything,” Barris continues. “We were grand, and it paid tribute to our lineage and our heritage. And the royalty and the regalness of who we were, it meant a lot.”
Hall, who plays Semmi, Morris, Reverend Brown, and Baba, reveals that many of the newcomers who got involved in the sequel grew up in the culture and grew up watching Coming 2 America.
“I even had a cast member say that her father used to make them watch it once a year, like Wizard of OZ,” he said.
Barris, who has worked on several sequels throughout his career, says that themes show the differences between how Black people hide in plain sight and how white people overlook Black folks' presence, although we visibly see them.
“The very first time [a] Black African prince was ever played was Coming to America, and it’s 30 years old. People dress up as some of the characters on Halloween; there’s some restaurants that turn their restaurants into McDowell’s. People are really into this,” Murphy says. “That’s why I was excited about doing it again. It’s thrilling.”
Watch Coming 2 America “The Cultural Impact” below, and be sure to tune into Amazon Prime now to watch the film.
(Photo by Quantrell D. Colbert/Amazon Studios)