Often in black history, we tend to celebrate the more polish clean-cut figures. From the college-educated Dr. Martin Luther King Jr to post-prison Malcolm X, history tends only to acknowledge the more acceptable black image. Dolemite Is My Name starring comic god Eddie Murphy shines a light on an impactful underground figure in Black History.
Rudy Ray Moore is the Big L of comedy. A true underground legend his character Dolemite gave influence to the likes of more famous comics like Eddie Murphy, Martin Lawrence, and Chris Rock, while his street orientated poetic rhyme style is often credited for planting the seeds of Hip Hop origin
2) The celebration of Bad/Good movies.
While classic films like Shaft and Superfly’s critical praise were able to elevate to mainstream success, Dolemite fortune remained strictly within the blaxploitation genre. Even for its time, the film did not take itself too seriously but was considered an enjoyable piece for its humor and raunchiness. Good/Bad movies are part of black history because they showcase a level relatability that black culture takes ownership of. These films are unapologetically raw with no desire to win an Oscar, only to represent a forgotten world.
3) The use of the word Muthaf****
FYI, the United Black Delegation unofficially adopted the word Muthaf***” eons ago. Rudy’s signature catchphrase: “Dolemite is my name and f****in up muthafucka is my game,” is the early groundwork for Samuel Jackson, who uses the word as an exclamation point in every sentence. Muthaf**** will forever live an eternal life through the avenues of barber/beauty shops, BBQ’s, and big joker/little joker spade games.
4) The dozens, snappin and cappin
Dolemite is my name reveals that Rudy Ray Moore got his comical material from recording homeless men in the alley joking with each other, which is affectionally known as The dozens. This art form has existed since the days of the first negro. Fast forward to every holiday dinner, summer cookout, and family reunion where one has to be ready for a friendly insult from their favorite uncle, cousin, auntie, or family friend. In the modern era, these sessions are early signs of bullying, but to a different generation, these were test grounds of blackness that prepared one to laugh at their pain.
5) Perseverance aka the Black struggle
At the time of making the movie Dolemite, Rudy Ray Moore was already a middle-aged man who had several rejected doors slammed in his face. His decision to no longer survive but to live is a familiar transition period of the black American experience when one is already dealt so many wrong hands through a well oiled oppressed system. The recognition of self-worth is the pure definition of black pride.