Hop aboard the Wayback Machine and lets go way back 50+ years to the 50s-early 60s. There was a TV show that was adapted from a popular radio show of the 50s.
It is said that “the more things change, the more they stay the same”…. Amos & Andy ARE BACK …..
Amos ‘n’ Andy is a American radio and television sitcom set in Manhattan’s historic black community of Harlem, which was popular from the 1920s through the 1950s. The original radio show was created, written and voiced by two white actors, Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, who played a number of different characters, including the titular Amos Jones (Gosdon) and Andrew Hogg Brown (Correll).
As the show came to television, black actors took over the overwhelming majority of the roles; white characters were infrequent. Amos ‘n’ Andy began as one of the very first radio comedy series and originated from station WMAQ in Chicago. A television adaptation ran on CBS from 1951 until 1953, and continued in syndicated reruns from 1954 until 1966. ….. READ MORE.
If the 50-60s are too far back for you….. think Sanford & Son starring Redd Foxx as cantankerous junkyard owner Fred Sanford. The N&O’s Barry “The Colonel” Saunders has memorized every Fred Sanford quote. I don’t know why, but he has.
To say that Amos & Andy portrayed over-the-top comic stereotypes of colored people / Negroes / blacks would be a major understatement. NOTE: The term “African American” was not en vogue “back then”. This was pre-CRA and the Civil Rights Movement was in its infancy.
Sanford and Son ran from 1972-77, which is post CRA. We can include The Jeffersons in this discussion which ran from 1975-85. And Good Times (’74-79) featuring Kid Dyn-O-Mite.
From my perspective as “a white guy” viewing all four shows during my formative years, I would say all four presented “the black community” as jive-talking goofballs living in a culture QUITE different from my middle-class Southern white guy Leave It To Beaver / Happy Days world.
It is safe to say that none of these “black characters in a black world” scripts would even survive the proposal stage today. Anyone even suggesting such over-the-top comic depictions of Blacks / “African-Americans” would be hung from the nearest yardarm post haste…. with their lifeless bodies fed to jackals. Or would they?
As noted, I “came of age” during the civil rights movement with my own perspective in a quite segregated small Southern town then moving on to a 99% segregated college… then out into the world.
The characters of “Kingfish” and “Sapphire” and “Lightnin’” and “Algonquin J. Calhoun”, then “Fred” and “Lamont” and “Aunt Esther”, then “George” and “Weezie” and “Kid Dyn-O-Mite” did not do much to convince me I had much of anything in common with “them”.
Not much of an uptick from Scatman Crothers and various “I don’t know nuthin ‘bout birthin’ no babies” and “feet don’t fail me now” stereotypes from decades past.
So….. now its 2014 and hyper-sensitive PC police lurk, ready to pounce on every word, every syllable, hell, every conscious thought.. One home security company CTI is so afraid of the Black PC Gestapo they are afraid to cast black actors as home invaders. Surely you’ve noticed that.
Wasn’t the purpose of the CRA to bring us together and breakdown unflattering broadbrush racial stereotypes? Apparently not.
The Obama Era has brought back all those old stereotypes ratcheted up thru the freakin’ roof. Brought’em back and given’em full amplification.
Alma Adams, hat and all, would be sitting cheek by jowl in the same pew with “Sapphire”. Funeral home fans a flutterin’ while listenin’ to Jeremiah Wright hatin’ up on white folks.
Maybe Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-Tx) and Mad Maxine Waters (D-CA) are more “Sapphire’s” types. Rattlesnake-mean, crazy as hoot owls and always raging. Those two have completely redefined bat s**t crazy. I do so miss Cynthia McKinney (D-GA). Cynthia was the only real competition for Sheila J-Lee and Maxine as most truly INSANE humans in the US Congress.
Gee, now WHO might play Fred’s sister / Lamont’s aunt – Aunt Esther in 2014. Who indeed….
Can’t you see George “Kingfish” Stevens and Al Sharpton and BullyBarber scheming up some get-rich-quick con? …. and sharing a jar of pomade. Ol’ Fred Sanford be wantin’ a piece of the pie.
“Algonquin J. Calhoun” and Eric Holder are definitely bruthas from separate muthas. And George Jefferson is in that family tree somewhere before “movin’ on up to da East Side….”
“Calhoun” was my favorite A&A character. To quote the reknown Harlem barrister…. Now calm down, Kingfish, calm down. Remember – no matter how messy a mess you is messed up in, there’s always a way to un-mess yourself.
Valerie Jarrett could be “Willona” from Good Times.
Barack hisownself would be “Kid Dyn-O-Mite” in those early “missing years” at Harvard and Columbia kickin’ back, stylin’ and profilin’….. bein’ cool while hiding under Affirmative Action dontchaknow.
40+ years have past. These current AfAm over-the-top stereotypes don’t do much to convince me I have anything in common with “them” any more than the earlier ones did. Maybe that is the message they intend to project. With this much “progress” in the past 40 years, one can only imagine what the next 40 might bring ???
I know I’ve left out somebody. All casting suggestions are welcomed.
Another departure from the ever-depleting ranks of the once-proud / now hapless and red-ink hemorrhaging News & Observer. News & Opinion Toadie John “Johnny Reb” Frank has flew the coop. Headed to Denver supposedly; but quite “frankly” (little pun there) who really cares.
Johnny “Reb” was infamous for (1) wanting to be Rob RielleWho when he grows up…. and (2) once noting that Paul Ryan would hold a press conference at Big Ed’s “which has confederate memorabilia on its walls”. Ergo his nickname of “Johnny Reb”.
Like all N&O toadies, Johnny Frank was “washed in the blood” of far left-leaning politics. He might have possessed some modicum of journalistic integrity at some point in his young life but if so it was a smidgen and long since evaporated.
As with all departing employees, the N&O suits will quickly dismantle Johnny’s cubicle and sell it off as surplus. Like sand castles on a beach…. one tide cycle and its like it (he) was never even there. …… John Who?