‘Imitation Of Life’, 1934, with Claudette Colbert
‘Imitation Of Life’, 1959, with Lana Turner
‘Gone With The Wind’, 1939, with Clark Gable & Vivien Leigh
GWTW is particularly hard to swallow once you pass puberty and recognize the pabulum they are feeding you. Margaret Mitchell would have us believe that Slavery was not only a ‘walk in the park’, but that Black slaves wanted nothing more than to serve as soldiers for the South, rather than the North, to preserve and maintain their 3-squares under Slavery! That was a bald-faced LIE! And Margaret Mitchell knew it was a LIE!
‘Pinky’, 1949, with Jeanne Crain
‘Band Of Angels’, 1957, with Clark Gable & Yvonne DeCarlo
‘Lost Boundaries’, 1949, with Mel Ferrer
Every single film above used White actors and White actresses to play ‘mulattos’ instead of fair-skinned ‘Negroes’! Nevertheless, the films listed above used to be some of my favorite Hollywood films – used to be!
The reason I fell out of love with them is because of the message Hollywood gave to Blacks, who could pass for White, way back in the 20th century.
“Don’t be ashamed of being Black,
if that’s what you are!”
The message was disingenuous and a Lie!
This was NOT about ‘betraying your race’, nor was it about ‘being ashamed’ of being a ‘Negro’. If there was any shame – and there was and still is – it was caused, not by ‘Negroes’, but by the way we were treated and thought of by Whites and the Jewish filmmakers, who played to those White, bigoted prejudices!
This was Hollywood’s way of placating the Racial Bigots, particularly that cluster of Bigots in the ‘Old South’. In films with Black Themes, if you wanted them to be shown in the South, you’d better preach in those films something like ‘Separation’ of the Races, not ‘Passing’ or ‘Miscegenation’!
In Shirley Temple’s films as a child, when she was paired with Bill Bojangles Robinson, the scenes in which Bill held Temple’s hand were edited out before being shown in ‘Old South’ movie theaters.
To see Bill Bojangles dancing with little Shirley Temple, click on that URL above!
There was one film in that list at the Top of this Post that I will watch once more:
It did not preach that pejorative and disingenuous message – in fact, it was the most honest about the Black Experience of any of the Hollywood films of that era. If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it highly. If you have seen it, see it again! The famous quotation from ‘Boundaries’ is, “If you’re white, you’re alright; if you’re brown, stick around; but if you’re black, stay back!”
Jews ran Hollywood! Perhaps they still do? I have no objection to that. But I do object to their hypocrisies. In the 1980s I worked for 2 Employment Agencies, owned by Jews. Most of my career, I worked for Jews, who seemed more preoccupied with Green than any other color. That is to their credit! For that I salute Corporate Jews!
The two men, who ran those Agencies, were Lubliner and Schauerman. Both changed their last names to something less Yiddish: Blaine and Sanders.
In ‘Gentleman’s Agreement’, 1947, with Gregory Peck, the secretary admits to Peck, thinking him to be a Jew also, that she wrote two letters to the publishing firm that employs them both, one as ‘Greenberg’ and the other as ‘Green’. She obtained her job from the ‘Green’ letter; the ‘Greenberg’ letter was rejected. Miss ‘Green’ was chastised by Peck in the film for her own anti-Semitic remarks, not because she had ‘PASSED’!
When Blacks ‘PASSED’ on film, they were ‘ashamed’ and ‘deniers of their own race’! When Jews ‘PASSED’ on film, they were neither ‘ashamed’ nor ‘deniers of their own race’! See how that works!
As I write this, I am viewing Lana Turner’s 1959 version of ‘Imitation Of Life’ on TCM. Sorry about that deception! This was a very good film (the film underscore is particularly persuasive), even though I preferred the Colbert version more because her ‘Negro maid’ created her pancake recipe, which Colbert exploited (unwillingly of course), whereas Turner’s ‘Black maid’ just went along for the ride on Turner’s acting career.
@But I will NOT watch it until the end when Mahalia Jackson sings her marvelous best at the funeral of Turner’s ‘Black maid’ and her grown up, Passing for White daughter (Susan Kohner), cries over her casket, regretting her ‘wasted’ life of ‘Passing for White’ and denial of her ‘Negro’ mother’s love and affection.
That scene was dead on and honest! There are parts of all these films that were dead on and honest! That’s why I loved them in the past.
Yes, these films were all great pictures! However, the actors did NOT write their own parts. Fannie Hurst wrote the original book ‘Imitation Of Life’. Mainly Tabacco objects to Hollywood’s DOUBLE STANDARD in their treatment of Blacks vis-à-vis Jews in film.
Susan Kohner, the adult child, who passes for White, gave a marvelous and intense performance, although to my knowledge she was NOT ‘Colored’.
Sandra Dee, who played opposite her, was not nearly as good an actress, but she continued on with a stellar career. Dee played the ‘White’ daughter of Lana Turner.
Susan Kohner, who played the ‘Passing’ daughter of the ‘Colored’ maid, had an uneventful career just because the Public might remember her from ‘Imitation’. That role did not launch her career – it virtually destroyed it!
Barbara Bates was fine as the ladder-climbing vixen in ‘All About Eve’ 1950, who follows the same path that Anne Baxter (Eve) had herself taken in her assent to acting stardom. But Susan Kohner would have been better in that role – much better.
Just portraying a Black, who passes for White, on screen was enough to send Susan Kohner’s career to the Back Burner!
And let’s not even mention Lena Horne, the Black superstar, who could have passed for White, and should have played Julie in ‘Show Boat’ 1951 instead of the obligatory White, Ava Gardner. Horne could have done her own singing! (There was a 1936 version, but I’ve never seen it).
In her autobiography, Carol Channing confesses that she has Negro Blood in her veins. This was only after her career had ended. Had she announced it decades earlier, she would not have become Carol Channing.
And there would be no ‘Hoover’ Office Building in Washington, DC, had politicians known J. Edgar Hoover was BLACK. They all knew he was a homosexual, but that’s NOT THE SAME AS BEING BLACK – now is it!
A few years ago, the Texas School Board made changes, which now afflict textbooks all over America. They removed the word ‘Capitalism’ and replaced it with ‘Free Enterprise’ and other such Euphemisms because “Capitalism has negative connotations”. You need travel no further than this Blog to substantiate that valid assessment!
Texas also downplayed THOMAS JEFFERSON and upgraded JEFFERSON DAVIS, President of the Confederacy.
Anybody, even Yankees, should be able to comprehend why Rednecks would upgrade Jeff Davis. But the Thomas Jefferson thing may escape your immediate understanding. Allow me to edify their stance with the only 2-words necessary:
@ I stopped viewing ‘Imitation Of Life’ after the scene in which homosexual actor, Troy Donahue, beats up his ‘Passing’ girlfriend Kohner because he finds out that the Kohner character is a ‘Nigger’!
Racism hurts Whites as well as non-Whites! I end this Post by saluting a fine White actress, Susan Kohner, the ‘Star That Never Was’!
Clicking on the montage above (or any image in any of my Posts) will carry you to a new page with a much larger image!
PS I didn’t have to do any research for this one, folks; all I had to do was download the photographs, verify a few dates and write from the heart!
PSS All my sincere gratitude to George and Ira Gershwin for ‘Porgy & Bess’! Those two were Jews with genius and chutzpah! I salute the Gershwin brothers!
Tabacco: I consider myself both a funnel and a filter. I funnel information, not readily available on the Mass Media, which is ignored and/or suppressed. I filter out the irrelevancies and trivialities to save both the time and effort of my Readers and bring consternation to the enemies of Truth & Fairness! When you read Tabacco, if you don’t learn something NEW, I’ve wasted your time.
Tabacco is not a blogger, who thinks; I am a Thinker, who blogs. Speaking Truth to Power!
In 1981′s ‘Body Heat’, Kathleen Turner said, “Knowledge is power”.
T.A.B.A.C.C.O. (Truth About Business And Congressional Crimes Organization) – Think Tank For Other 95% Of World: WTP = We The People