As a kid, I enjoyed Coming to America immensely. Rewatching it as an adult, it occurred to me that it's one of the first films I can think of with an almost all black cast, almost all in empowering roles (as opposed to blaxploitation, for instance, where only the hero protagonist had a positive role).

We see an African kingdom, rich and prosperous. We see Mr. Cleo McDowell, a successful restaurant owner with his two daughters.

Was this film at the time received as I in hindsight think it may have been?

How was it received in the black community?

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    This is a little broad. It might be better to limit the scope to detail what proof of reception you might need. – Paulie_D Dec 17 '16 at 22:44
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    I'm not asking for the opinions of the users of this Stack, I'm asking for the opinions of the black community (at the time, or in retrospect). Asking about an opinion is not asking for an opinion and is not "opinion-based". – SQB Dec 19 '16 at 12:44
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    There's even a tag for questions about how a film was received. – SQB Dec 19 '16 at 14:03

Digging around in ProQuest (an index of newspaper headlines, among other things), I came across the following reference:

Briscoe, Stephen (04/22/1992). "'Coming to America' in Class? If It's Done Right, Teachers Say". Michigan Chronicle, p. A1.

Abstract: The controversy over whether the film "Coming to America" should have been shown to a class of fourth graders in Detroit is examined.

The Michigan Chronicle is a Detroit newspaper that is operated by and aimed at African-Americans, so I suspect that this article might give you a sense of the various opinions on the film in the African-American community around the time of its release.

Unfortunately, I was unable to find a full text of this article online; so I'm making this answer into a community wiki. If anyone is able to dig up the full text, I would be interested to see some pertinent excerpts from this article added in.

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