Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
Sign in to follow this  
TopBilled

MLK Day = Sidney Poitier Day

Recommended Posts

Before we start, this is not a complaint thread. It's a general observation. It occurs to me, year after year, that Dr. King's holiday becomes a celebration of Sidney Poitier films on TCM. I love Mr. Poitier's work and most of his films hold up well.

 

But what I am seeing is that we may be equating Dr. King with Sidney Poitier. Instead, wouldn't it be more effective to see Sidney's films mixed in with films of other classic African American stars. Why not some Lena Horne, some Ethel Waters, some Dorothy Dandridge, some Diahann Carroll, some James Earl Jones, some Ossie Davis and some Oprah Winfrey...?

 

In fact, I would like to see a primetime schedule with both THE COLOR PURPLE and BELOVED on MLK Day. Have Oprah on as a guest, discussing her participation in these pictures. I am not the world's biggest Oprah fan, but doesn't it seem like, in addition to Sidney Poitier, she is living the American dream espoused by Dr. Martin Luther King?

 

And on another point, why not show some documentaries on this day about Dr. King himself?

 

There is so much more TCM could do to honor the Civil Rights leader, instead of putting a few obligatory Sidney Poitier films on the air and calling it black history or a proper birthday tribute for Dr. King.

 

Thoughts...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't TCM do a tribute related to Black History month? I haven't checked the February schedule but I assume they would show some of the stars you mention.

 

But yea, today's schedule does look more like Poiter day and while that is better than nothing, it is rather odd.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

> Doesn't TCM do a tribute related to Black History month?

 

Since the Academy moved the Oscars from March to February, February is now the *31 Days of Oscar* celebration.

 

Before the move, TCM did programming tributes to Black History month.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At least Sidney's films are good/entertaining and have some historical value to them in terms of the American Civil Rights movement. But IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT is conspicuously absent, both today and next month on TCM.

 

By the way, I did not mention Hattie McDaniel in the original post, though she did receive an Oscar, because she seems to have been very stereotyped in a lot of her pictures, confined to the servant role...and that is another topic altogether.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Considering what Dr. King is noted for, the movie *the Great White Hope* would be more fitting.

 

 

And I'm sure there are many more films that would illustrate the aspirations of Dr. King. While there's nothing to complain about in seeing any Sidney Poitier film, I'd have to agree with the OP.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the spirit of what MLK stands for, may I say that I anxiously await the day when we collectively name way more than a handful of the _______ (fill in the blank) actors/actresses known primarily for their social identities.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>Considering what Dr. King is noted for, the movie the Great White Hope would be more fitting.

 

Most definitely. Another good one is ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO which has previously aired on TCM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am going to slightly disagree with what you just posted. These performers are known not just for their social identities, but also for their cultural identities and political identities. And this is all part of American history on film.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Did you read the word "primarily?" The point is this: If you ask anyone to name the black/African American actors/actresses from classic Hollywood films, chances are you'll come up with the same small number.

 

 

It is my hope that someday this will not be the case. That's all. Very simple wish. Sorry you "slightly disagree."

 

 

FYI, "social identity" includes "cultural," "political," and so many other dimensions. I used the term as an academic and should not have assumed that my meaning would be clear.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In 2010, TCM did spend the daytime hours of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday presenting films starring various African-American actors and actresses. Films shown included *The Duke Is Tops*, *Bright Road*, *Sounder* and *A Raisin In The Sun*.

 

In 2011, to their great credit, TCM stepped away from treating the Holiday solely as a "Black Holiday" and included films with themes of bigotry and prejudice. Titles presented included *Crossfire*, *Jim Thorpe - All American*, *Something Of Value* and *Glory*.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for not interpreting my post as a critique of TCM or anyone/thing in particular. Just a wish sent out among my fellow film lovers in the spirit of MLK Day.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh. I knew where your thoughts and heart layed. Same place as mine.

 

I am one that cringes at the idea of the MLK Holiday being thought of as a "Black Holiday", This holiday is meant to honor any and all groups or persons which have been marginalized, discriminated against or treated as less than equal in America. At least that is how I view the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>Did you read the word "primarily?" FYI, "social identity" includes "cultural," "political," and so many other dimensions.

 

I think you are playing a game of semantics. Plus, you seem to be adding an element of rudeness into your responses, which impedes any real meaningful exchange of ideas as far as I'm concerned.

 

I never said it was a Black Holiday, though I am sure that a lot of African Americans find a great deal of meaning in observing Dr. King's birthday. Somehow, I do not think Spike Lee would like the focus of Dr. King's message being diverted away from African American people and their Holocaust. Of course, whites and other non-blacks can still find relevance in the message.

 

Kyle's post in the thread, meanwhile, implies that TCM has gone back to observing MLK Day this year as a Black Holiday due to the absence of JIM THORPE - ALL AMERICAN and other race-centered entries that are not related to the African American experience. I would caution that we do not get tripped up in glorifying TCM to the point of making the Channel actually look bad, or implying that its programmers this year are more narrow-minded or possibly even racist compared to previous years.

 

The original point I was making and am still making, which I consider a good one to make, is that with these kinds of tributes, we may be causing a new generation to think that Dr. King and Sidney Poitier were one in the same. That is not exactly the case. TCM's programming department can read this thread and hopefully agree that the schedule on this day should be a bit more balanced.

 

By the way, I have the same 'problem' with the St. Patrick's Day schedule each year. Again, it seems like James Cagney or Pat O'Brien might very well be St. Patrick himself. There are plenty of Irish-themed films with Irish actors, as opposed to Irish American actors, that TCM could just as easily select.

 

Balance and careful ethnic representation and a fair sense of history, that is all I am suggesting. And like I stated previously, this is not meant as a complaint thread. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We seem to live in an age when institutions in the public eye are criticized if they don't pay attention to holidays. How many people have posted over the last year about the nature of programming related to Christmas, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, etc. Does every network have to devote its programming to every holiday, for fear of being criticized if it doesn't?

 

But if such commemorations can be done with imagination, it's a good idea to try to honor what the day stands for. I like Sidney Poitier well enough, though I must say I was devastated as a kid when Poitier won the Oscar over Albert Finney for Tom Jones ! (OK, Tom Jones is a film that is very appealing to teenage boys; movies about nuns less so). MLK Day could be celebrated more broadly, meaning with movies about all sorts of civil rights struggles, throughout history. I think the point of the holiday is that Dr. King is a national hero for all of us.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>We seem to live in an age when institutions in the public eye are criticized if they don't pay attention to holidays. How many people have posted over the last year about the nature of programming related to Christmas, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, etc. Does every network have to devote its programming to every holiday, for fear of being criticized if it doesn't?

 

Interesting comment. You are exploring a sub-theme of this greater topic. And look at how many people were upset about CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT being left off TCM's schedule in December 2012. It did not seem like the 'holidays' without Cuddles making his annual batch of goulash.

 

If there was ever a MLK Day schedule on TCM without any Sidney Poitier films, there would be folks commenting on that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Well as time marches on the odds are strong that people will even know LESS about the "black/African American actors/actresses from classic Hollywood films", just like they will know less about all actors/actresses from the Hollywood studio era.

 

My guess is that this will be true in the African American community as well. For example, the majority of the African American community knows little to nothing about the African American jazz greats from the 30 - 60s. i.e. their knowledge is as limited as the community in general as it relates to all jazz greats from that era. A few (in all communities) will know Miles, Armstrong and a few others and that is about it.

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of my favorite African-American actors, who appeared in small roles in many movies, is *Madame Sul-Te-Wan.* She is said to have been the first black actor to sign a contract with a major studio. Yes, she played (among other roles) slaves and maids and mammies and, most memorably, a Voodoo high priestess, but she is part of the history of the cinema. Attention must be paid!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

What is it exactly that you interpret as "rudeness?" "semantics?"

 

 

Please read carefully. I think that'll help. I never said you or anyone else interepreted MLK Day as "a Black holiday."

 

 

Methinks you're trying to pick an argument.

 

 

I won't play.

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

*"Kyle's post in the thread, meanwhile, implies that TCM has gone back to observing MLK Day this year as a Black Holiday due to the absence of JIM THORPE - ALL AMERICAN and other race-centered entries that are not related to the African American experience."*

 

No! You're free to interpret what I wrote however _you_ want. But don't write that your interpetation is what I intended to imply. Let my writing speak for itself and for me. And I have no issue or criticism of how TCM chooses to acknowledge the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

 

*"I would caution that we do not get tripped up in glorifying TCM to the point of making the Channel actually look bad, or implying that its programmers this year are more narrow-minded or possibly even racist compared to previous years."*

 

You better stop with all this "implying" you keep posting. You have no idea how absurd the above thought is, do you?

 

Perhaps you should stop writing about race issues. You're not expressing yourself very well and making "implications" that are outrageous. To write my post "implied" the TCM programmers were being racist is one ugly thing to write, let alone attribute it to me.

 

Besides, you obviously aren't familiar enough with TCM to know just how the channel has celebrated today's holiday in past years. Like the year TCM invited Charles Barnett to co-host and introduce his films.

 

TCM has honored the holiday in many different ways beyond showing Sidney Poitier films. So maybe you should just stop writing because your original thought/post was false to start with. And you're only going to make yourself look even more foolish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You seem a bit frustrated. I don't think either one of us, kyle, should stop writing. I firmly believe that writing and communicating leads to more clarification and truth. If your frustrations prevent you from seeing it that way, then I am sorry; there is nothing more I can do to convince you otherwise.

 

I do think it rather impolite that you would accuse me of being foolish. Usually, you are more diplomatic than that. So again, maybe you are just trying to take your frustrations out on me and chastise me. And that seems rather unfair if you ask me.

 

Are you fostering the idea that others do not know or understand the Channel's programming and history as well as you do? I hope not. There are a lot of valid observations on these forums from a lot of people who have logged countless hours watching programming on TCM as well as keeping abreast of its other services and products online and at TCM sponsored events.

 

At any rate, I think I have made some valid points in this thread. I will let others read the posts and add their own replies if they so desire. I would certainly not tell anyone else to stop writing, and I would kindly ask that you not say that again to me, or else run the risk of sounding like a Message Board Censor.

 

Let us move forward in a more peaceful manner. Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where you aware of how TCM handled MLK day in prior years? If you were, than when you made your initial posting it would of been useful to say that TCM had shown more diverse movies in prior years on MLK day and then to ask why did TCM go back to just showing movies about only one group as well as movies from only one actor associated with said one group?

 

Anyhow, I wonder if TCM based their decision this year on the fact that Obama is being shorn in today. In fact did the Feds (i.e. whoever decides these things), pick today for the swearing in because it was MLK day or did it happen to be a coincidence? I assume the later.

 

Either way today is a rather special day for the African American community than just MLK day. So maybe that explains TCM choices.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The Twentieth Amendment states that the term for the President ends at noon on the twentieth day of January (nice coordination, that). President Obama was sworn in for his second term yesterday at noon in a private ceremony. The public swearing in and festivities took place today because yesterday was a Sunday. You can quickly find news articles about this by searching "president swearing in."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad someone else started a thread on this, I was tempted to when I saw the schedule line-up yesterday morning but I hate to always be coming off all "Crabapple Annie."

 

I was *very, very, very disappointed in the line-up.*

 

 

*Very.*

 

 

*ps-* To Sir With Love needs a serious moratorium called on its airing. I also note that it has comparitive diddly squat to do with American race relations.

 

 

*pss-* I am also *really tired* of Blackboard Jungle.

 

 

 

*psss-* at least there was no Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

 

Edited by: AddisonDeWitless on Jan 22, 2013 7:41 AM

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>when you made your initial posting it would of been useful to say that TCM had shown more diverse movies in prior years on MLK day

 

The concern I have with this idea, and with kyle's approach, is that the discussion was about MLK in 2013 on TCM. Of course, some background is helpful, but I am sure that folks can find last year's thread about this subject if one was created. To try and widen the parameters of this discussion to let the programming department off the proverbial hook or to excuse this schedule because it coincides with Obama's inauguration may be stretching things a bit. Also, if you use the Obama angle, then you have to admit to kyle that the schedule had black overtones and was thus a Black Holiday. The original point is that with a schedule like the one we saw yesterday, it almost seems like we are celebrating one actor, instead of a civil rights leader.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

© 2019 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
×
×
  • Create New...