Shaft is cool because is a badass. I think that is Shaft was white he would still be cool. A good example of this type of cool is Bruce Willis as John McClane in the Die Hard series. McClane and Shaft are both typical tough guys from law enforcement. They also both bend the rules and break laws in order to take out the bad guys for the betterment of society. McClane also does everything to save his daughter, much like Shaft rescues Bumpy’s daughter. Both men are heroes because they take out the bad guys, but unlike Batman or other superheroes they are not displayed as having good morals.
Shaft is also cool because he is a minority being successful in a white man’s field (law enforcement). President Obama is cool because he is a minority that has found extreme success in politics, a white dominated world. President Obama will go down in history as the first African American president, he will always be looked up to and respected for this feat. It doesn’t matter if his presidency is extremely successful or not; he will still be cool because he was the first minority president.
Is Shaft cool because he’s black or because he’s a badass? The answer is both. Shaft is cooler than Obama and McClane because he embodies both types of cool in one man. Being a successful minority badass is twice as cool as just being a successful minority or just being a badass. People or characters that have both these types of cool are used in lots of films because their coolness is so attractive to moviegoers. A modern day Shaft is Denzel Washington as Frank Lucas in American Gangster(2007). Although Lucas is a gangster and definitely not a part of the law enforcement field like Shaft, he shares the same exact same cool as Shaft (minus the cheesy jive lingo).