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:

Screenshot 2017-04-24 10.16.07.png

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?

 

 

Published by

Carolyn Dennis-Willingham

Carolyn is the author of two published books – No Hill for a Stepper, 2001, and The Last Bordello, 2016. Her third novel, The Moonshine Thicket, is set in 1928 and is currently enduring a professional edit. When not on her laptop, she serves as a lap top for her grandchildren. She is a retired Early Childhood Specialist, a fitness boxer, artist, and a ball thrower for her ever-persistent mini Aussie. In addition to her blogging website, carolyndenniswillingham.com, you may find her on Facebook and Twitter.

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