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WhyaDuck

LIttlest Rebel with Shirley Temple makes blacks look stupid

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I love the way my New England friends say "oysta!"

 

I love the way my Queens-raised relative calls these little furry backyard creatures 200px-Sciurus_niger_%28on_fence%29.jpg *SKWUH* -rulls

 

While my best friend's Italian wife, who's a Yale medical school professor and has lived here for over 30 years, still calls them *SQUEEERLS*

 

But my favorite regional pronunication is this Piedmont region North Carolinian I used to know who'd call his prescription tablets *PEEEELS*

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>Baker's appeal lies solely in her "exoticism" and the controversy surrounding her. She's like a black Gypsy Rose Lee -- not very interesting without the gimmick. I honestly just don't see what all her "accomplishments" were. I recognize her as an important historic figure but not in the same way that Astaire is.

 

Whoa. Obviously you only know Josephine Baker from her films, as an entertainer.

Yes, she crossed over into entertaining white audiences as the "exotic"as a teen in NYC. She then left the US seeking a better life & treatment in Paris where she continued performing. Celebrated and included in international "society", she hobnobbed with the famous and powerful. This opportunity allowed her to actually be an undercover spy for the allies. She smuggled people out of Europe via her mansion in the south of France.

Her celebrity & charisma presented her with the opportunity to learn to fly a plane, so bold girl, she became a pilot. She flew refugees to Morrocco regularly under the guise of partying & performing.

Josephine was part of the Civil Rights movement in the US and is seen at the March on Washington films giving speeches. She was even asked to take over MLK's place when he was assinated.

She adopted several children of varied colors calling themselves The Rainbow Tribe (where the coalition gets their name from) When she did return to the US, she started her own nightclub in NYC an amazing feat in itself.

 

Josephine Bakers story is one of the most fascinating in history, read up on her if you think she's simply an exotic dancer. (and I don't mean Wiki-a REAL book) She never let any barriers stop her from doing what she thought was correct for ALL people. She just used her celebrity to get there!

 

She is the person I most admire in my life.

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Celebrated and included in international "society," she hobnobbed with the famous and powerful. This opportunity allowed her to actually be an undercover spy for the allies. She smuggled people out of Europe via her mansion in the south of France.

 

Her celebrity & charisma presented her with the opportunity to learn to fly a plane, so bold girl, she became a pilot. She flew refugees to Morrocco regularly under the guise of partying & performing.

Josephine was part of the Civil Rights movement in the US and is seen at the March on Washington films giving speeches.

 

 

TikiSoo, I'm glad you brought this up. I also participated in the March on Washington, and on page 66 of one of the souvenir books produced to commemorate that event ("The Day They Marched", Johnson Publishing Co., 1963), there's a picture of Josephine Baker mixing with the crowd, wearing a Free French military uniform that's decorated with her Legion of Honor awards. She was the only female speaker invited to give a speech that day.

 

 

Here's another photograph taken of her later in the event as she was making her way up to the podium. Note that there are no bananas in sight.

 

 

AP6308280863B.jpg

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Come to think of it, that *Long Island Medium* woman doesn't pronounce HER final "r's" either! Only I don't think SHE'S British!

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

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I guess you know (apologies if it has already been mentioned) that one of Josephine Baker's children runs a restaurant on 42nd St. in NYC called Chez Josephine. It's pretty good, I haven't been there in years, though: http://www.chezjosephine.com/

 

One of the saddest stories I ever heard, related to this thread, concerns Marian Anderson, one of the great operatic voices of all time. When she was on tour, they wouldn't iron her dress, nor would they allow her to iron it in the hotel. So, Marian Anderson, who had a voice that Toscanini said came along once in 100 years, had to iron her own dress, in the ALLEY!

 

 

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What's worse, sepia, is that you've admitted watching that show! (I only know about it because it's spoofed on "The Soup.")

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I saw *The Littlest Rebel* the other night (not really my cup of mint julip, but whatever...) and could not help but be uncomfortable at the gleefully unconscious racism therein, two layers of it. The first one being that, since it was set in the 1861 South, there's going to be a depiction of slaves. And these were slaves who appeared happy to be so.

The second layer of racism is as filtered through 1930s Hollywood sensibility, again, almost unconsciously racist.

"That said", I have two observations I'd like to make. The first is, I agree with everyone here who has said that despite the squirm-worthy depiction of African-Americans in the film, it should still be aired and readily available for anyone who wants to see it. I am passionately (now there's an over-used word-but in this case it's the right word for me) against banning, limiting, or censoring content in old movies that is offensive to today's audience. We're intelligent people, we can deal with it.

 

The second comment is this: Fairly early on in the *The LIttlest Rebel* there is a scene in which some Union soldiers are about to invade the Confederate family's home. The white lady of the house is not there (something about watering her husband's horse?), so the black slaves and Shirley are left to deal with the situation, running about, finding a hiding place etc. In the midst of this the "stupid" slave, Willy Best, makes an interesting remark, apparently to himself since no one else is listening. I wish I could remember it verbatum, but it essentially points out that the Northern soldiers are theoretically the Southern slave's friends, or at least rescuers, and that therefore he and his fellow slaves should not be frightened when the Yankees approach. I think he might even say something about how he thinks the Union army will eventually free the slaves. (It's hard to make out exactly what he's saying due to the speech patterns discussed by others here.) He adds that despite this, he is frightened.

I wish I could find this speech on youtube and post it here.

The "stupid" guy is the only one to observe the fact that the Northerners are not the Southern slave's enemy.

 

Edit: I just realized that my first paragraph here makes it sound as though I'm offended by films set during the Civil War because of the inevitable depiction/existence of slavery.That would be an idiotic thing to say, and I did not intend my comment to sound like that. I just meant it's difficult to see a film made in the 1930s, set in the 1860s, because of the way the slaves were portrayed back then -foolish, obsequious, and content to be slaves. With a few exceptions now and then.

 

 

Edited by: misswonderly on Jan 7, 2013 9:19 AM

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Not as far as I'm concerned, although I believe there are some very "politically correct" individuals who do use that term. I think we usually say, at least in the greater Toronto area, phrases such as "the black community", and if a black person has emmigrated from, say, Jamaica, then we say, maybe, "Jamaican-Canadian". Maybe. Oh frig, I'm no expert on the subject.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}You're supposed to be the resident expert on all things Canadian.

Yes, Miss Wonderly is very good and she's welcome to the title "Resident Expert on All Things Canadian"...

 

As for African-Canadian, the usage varies. Read the Wiki article on Black Canadians for more information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Canadians

 

Also, you can check out the York University website for the Centre for the Study of Black Cultures in Canada.

 

It's titled "African Canadian Online": http://www.yorku.ca/aconline/culture/pioneers.html

 

But they use different terms besides African Canadian as you can see in the website above.

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To extremely paraphrase Al Capp, there really can't be any "racism", as all the insulting bigotry is aimed at various members of the "Human " race!

 

 

 

In light of that, let's resort to calling it "Ethnicism". And THAT'S been largely predominant in American society. Even among WHITES. "He's IRISH. You KNOW what THEY'RE like!", "Don't go down THAT street. That's the ITALIAN neighborhood.", "Man, I HATE them (squareheads/ Polacks/ Frogs/Krauts/ Hunkies/ Lymies/ Clodhoppers)". Mulitple choice!

 

 

 

Black people also get into arguements about "Who's more BLACK?". Based on skin tone.

 

 

 

 

As Americans, we've taken to being BOASTFUL about our diversity to other nations. While iside America, it's treated as a point of contention. Go figure.

 

 

Warren Beatty, as "Bullworth" said, "We're all going to keep FU**ING each other till we're all the same color, so why get so upset now?" Or something to that effect.

 

 

 

 

Sepiatone

 

Edited by: Sepiatone on Jan 7, 2013 5:11 PM

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To extremely paraphrase Al Capp, there really can't be any "racism", as all the insulting bigotry is aimed at various members of the "Human " race!

 

 

 

 

 

In light of that, let's resort to calling it "Ethnicism". And THAT'S been largely predominant in American society. Even among WHITES. "He's IRISH. You KNOW what THEY'RE like!", "Don't go down THAT street. That's the ITALIAN neighborhood."

 

A former Irish-American GF of mine had a cousin whose father was the Baltimore Colts' team doctor. He practically disowned her for marrying an Italian. This was back in the 60's when "white" neighborhoods tended to be a lot more ethnically homogenous than they are today.

 

Dpompper asks "what's a 'hunkie?". This referred to people from southeastern or central Europe, and was a spinoff from "bohunks". When Stokely Carmichael first burst onto the national scene in 1966 with his "Black Power" rantings, he used to call all whites "hunkies", presumably because like blacks, we all look alike. B-) This soon got changed to "honkies", a term that iself seems to have gone the way of "crackers", to be replaced by the more generic "white lovers of one's mother". Just one more example of the homogenization or the Dumbing Down of America, I suppose. ;)

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RM, I have never, ever heard the term 'African - Canadian ', nor have I ever read it in print.

 

 

Is it possible that term doesn't exist and someone has just made it up?

 

 

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Sepia baby, I'm not sure why your post about what term to use when referring to bigotry or making irrational distinctions between groups based on race was addressed to me. I was actually bringing the thread back to the original topic , ie, the racism in *The Littlest Rebel*. I still think it's worth noting that the supposedly "stupid" slave ( played by Willy Best) seemed to be the only one to figure out that it was not in his or the other slaves' best interests to oppose the Union Army.

 

So, are we going to get into a semantic discussion around the exact meaning of words such as "race" and "ethnicity" ?

To me, "ethnicity" is more a cultural thing - for example, you mention the Irish. Irish people are Caucasion, and therefore the same "race" as the white Americans who reputedly used to discriminate against them. Italians also are Caucasion, - they, along with Spanish and Portuguese people, are white, but a category of "white" that used to be called "Mediterranean". All these labels and classifications of human beings !

Africans and Asians (and many other peoples) are not just a different "ethnicity" from Caucasions, they are different "races". To me, "racism" is when a person makes assumptions (usually negative ones) about another based solely on their skin colour, their "race".

I think it's silly when one white person complains about "racism" against another white person, as in derogatroy depictions of Irish or Italian people, because they're all the same "race". That kind of prejudice is more about cultural differences -which can be great - rather than actual racial differences.

Or perhaps as you phrased it, "a different ethnicity."

 

hope I haven't opened a can of worms here, as I have to take my computer in for its annual cleaning/tune-up, and wont' be around to respond anymore for a couple of days.

 

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> {quote:title=AndyM108 wrote:}{quote}To make a more general point of this, I think that one of the main reasons I love TCM so much is that by showing us a nearly limitless number of movies from well before "our time", we begin to learn by a sort of gradual osmosis what it "felt" like to live in those long gone decades. If "the past is a foreign country," then many of these films are our passports and time travel tickets.

>

> I only wish that that vision could be expanded a bit more than it is now, with the inclusion of more movies that represent "other" perspectives. It's a call for more *inclusion,* not a call to *exclude* any movies that are being shown on TCM now.

>

Some very insightful comments. Thank you for highlighting this angle.

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> {quote:title=twinkeee wrote:}{quote}

> RM, I have never, ever heard the term 'African - Canadian ', nor have I ever read it in print.

>

> Is it possible that term doesn't exist and someone has just made it up?

>

Try this article in the Canadian Encyclopedia that explains the usage of African Canadian in Canada:

http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/blacks

 

This report from the Canadian Association of Social Workers from 2005 states that "The terms 'African Canadian' and 'Black' women are used inter-changeably throughout this report.":

http://www.crvawc.ca/documents/Black%20Women%20in%20Canada%20-%20Executive%20Summary%20-%20English%20Version.pdf

 

The Government of Nova Scotia uses the term African Canadians:

http://acs.ednet.ns.ca/

 

The African Canadian Services Division within the Nova Scotia Department of Education was established in 1996.

 

This webpage from the World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples explains the usage of African Canadian in Canada: http://www.minorityrights.org/2629/canada/african-and-caribbean-canadians.html

 

Here's a news item that refers to African Canadians in Toronto:

http://www.680news.com/2012/07/19/african-canadian-community-leaders-speak-out-against-gun-violence/

 

The radio station above is quite popular in Toronto and the rest of Ontario.

And the article was also shared on The Canadian Press wire.

 

Here's the same story on Global TV news: http://www.globalnews.ca/policecantstopgunviolenceintorontoalonepoliticianscommunityleaders+agree/6442681918/story.html

 

Here's an article in the Toronto Star newspaper, the largest-circulation newspaper in Canada, titled

"Harry Jerome Awards mark 30 years of excellence in African-Canadian community":

 

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/article/1149324--harry-jerome-awards-mark-30-years-of-excellence-in-african-canadian-community

 

 

And you can find many more references on the Internet. So African Canadian has been used by many for a while in different parts of Canada.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}Maybe the most famous African-Canadian was sprinter Ben Johnson, who was a little bit faster than he should have been.

 

Maybe "infamous" is a better word. But very ironic that the American sprinter Carl Lewis, who was awarded the gold medal after Johnson was disqualified for drug use, himself failed drug tests before the same event and shouldn't have been allowed to compete.

But this information didn't come out about Lewis until years later.

Read this "Guardian" newspaper article about the scandal titled "Lewis: Who Cares I Failed Drug Test?":

http://www.guardian.co.uk/sport/2003/apr/24/athletics.duncanmackay

 

Also this article from TSN (The Sports Network) titled "9.79*: Is it time to re-think Johnson's legacy in Canada?": http://www.tsn.ca/olympics/story/?id=407188

 

As for famous African Canadians (or if you prefer, Black Canadians) there are many.

 

Donovan Bailey, an Olympic multiple gold medal winning sprinter: http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/multiculturalism/black/people.asp#bailey'>http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/multiculturalism/black/people.asp#bailey

 

Willie O'Ree, the first black player in the NHL: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Willie_O%27Ree

 

Since the NHL season is a go again this year, it's also worthwhile to point out some of the many Black Canadian hockey players in the NHL...

 

Jarome Iginla, a six-time NHL all-star and also the first black team captain in NHL history: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jarome_Iginla

 

More ice hockey players in the NHL are here (most are African Canadian, but some are African American): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ice_hockey_players_of_black_African_descent

 

When I was growing up, NHL goalie Grant Fuhr was a big star:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grant_Fuhr

 

He's a Black Canadian and first black voted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Wayne Gretzky has said that Fuhr is the greatest goaltender in NHL history.

 

In boxing, there's Sam Langford, "considered one of the finest heavyweight boxers of all time":

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/multiculturalism/black/people.asp#langford

 

Anyway, quick switch to arts and we have Oscar Peterson: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oscar_peterson

 

Then there's the more modern Drake: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drake_%28entertainer%29

 

In opera, Measha Brueggergosman: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Measha_Brueggergosman

 

Authors such as Austin Clarke: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Austin_Clarke_%28novelist%29

 

And there are many more in other fields of endeavour:

http://www.cic.gc.ca/english/multiculturalism/black/people.asp

 

Note that the Government of Canada regards Harriet Tubman as a prominent Black Canadian as she lived in Canada for a number of years.

 

Edited by: RMeingast on Jan 7, 2013 11:12 PM

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Thanks for the kind words, Calamity. In many ways I see TCM as the equivalent of the Bryant Square branch of the New York City public library, which is about as high a compliment as I can pay to any institution. It's the best sort of open university, and a lot less expensive to boot.

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