Is this racist?

Upon reading the daily prompt, Zip, the first thing that came to mind was the song, “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah … what a wonderful day.” It’s from Walt Disney’s movie, Song of the South. Released in 1946, this live-action animated musical takes place shortly after the end of the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery.

Some think the portrayal of Uncle Remus and the cartoon characters depict African Americans in a racist light — they use black vernacular and depict”the good times” of working on a plantation. Racist? I can see that. I can also see the love and kindness.

Johnny, the white boy living in the “main” house, befriends Uncle Remus who tells him stories of Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear.

Because of the controversy, protests by some African Americans at the release of the movie and more, Disney decided in the 1980’s not to release the movie on VHS or on DVD in the US.

But, Change.org has a petition out there to have the film released to the American public so we can “learn from history” and can make our own decisions.

Here’s what I know. The clips I watched of Uncle Remus are loving and kind. When Johnny is seriously injured, it is Uncle Remus he calls for on his “death” bed. Johnny reaches for his friend. I love this:

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At the end of the movie, Johnny and his two friends (one white, one black) are joined by Uncle Remus as they march happily up a hill.

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This ultra curious woman wants to know. What do you think of this movie? Is it racist?

 

 

I need your help. Seriously.

No matter your walk in life, we have all been affected by racial diversity. Some find it threatening. Others find is socially and culturally mesmerizing and exhilarating. For the purpose I am pursuing, let’s narrow it down to the white and African American culture.

While starting my new novel, my fear is the voice inside my head. It says,”How can you, a white woman, write about the African American experience in 1963? How could you possibly understand?”

Here’s my goal. To write an entertaining novel for all age groups but especially for young adults who may not know important historical facts about the Civil Rights Movement- which I will weave into the novel. I want the reader to take pause, reflect, and think about their actions going forward.

Big goal, huh? But I sincerely believe that understanding the past will put us in a better position for the future.

Here’s the premise to the novel:

In 1963, while staying with the unhinged friend of her deceased grandmother, a 14 yr old white girl from Texas meets a teenaged “Negro” boy from Alabama and learns first hand about racial injustice.

 

I am doing tons and tons of research. I have read “Black Like Me” by John Howard Griffin and The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.

So here’s how you can, hopefully, help me.

  1. Is this a reasonable goal?
  2. What suggestions do you have for reading material that may help my accuracy?
  3. What experiences have you had that led you to a racial awareness/enlightenment?

I appreciate any and all suggestions!

Thank you for reading and responding!

Carolyn

Oh, and if you decide to write on this topic, MAKE SURE YOU LET ME KNOW. I promise to reblog unless it is offensive to humanity.