THANK YOU RB. Client RB praises us for the brief. We recently completed for the Navy corrections board. “You’ve done a great job,” he states.
FIRST BLACK WINNER ACCEPTED HER OSCAR IN A SEGREGATED HOTEL! Over 75 years ago, Hattie McDaniel won an Oscar for ‘Gone with the Wind,’ [GWTW], accepting her award at the Ambassador’s Coconut Grove nightclub.
She was one of the biggest African-American movie stars — but she did not sit with the rest of the cast. Instead, she sat at a small table set against a far wall. With the hotel’s strict no-blacks policy, producer David O. Selznick had to call in a special favor just to have McDaniel allowed into the building.
Hollywood’s highest honor couldn’t stave off the indignities that greeted McDaniel at every turn. Hollywood pigeonholed her as a “sassy Mammy” stereotype, with 74 roles in film, all as a domestic.
One of 13 children, McDaniel was born in June 1893, into extreme poverty in Wichita, Kansas. Following the family’s move to Denver, her brothers, Otis and Sam, dubbed themselves the “Cakewalk Kids” after a dance fad that doubled as a sly caricature of white cotillions.
She was determined to avoid her mother’s and sisters’ fates as maids: she joined the show, doing impressions in “white face” for African-American audiences.
In 1929, McDaniel landed a gig in a road tour of the hit musical Show Boat. But the stock market crash led to layoffs by producer Florence Ziegfeld Jr. She was stranded and penniless in Milwaukee. Undaunted, she took a job as a bathroom attendant at Sam Picks Suburban Inn, then stepped in when the venue had no headliner. Her show stopping singing and dancing earned her $90 in tips and a job on the spot.
In 1931, McDaniel moved to Los Angeles. Acting opportunities were limited to subservient servant roles.
By 1935, McDaniel was being touted as “one of the most prominent performers of her race” to promote the Clark Gable comedy China Seas. She and Gable forged a close friendship during filming. When Gable learned his co-star wasn’t welcome at GWTW’s 1939 Atlanta premiere — Georgia law prohibited blacks in white theaters — he refused to go. He only relented after McDaniel’s urging.
Incidentally, among the teen choir members costumed as slaves at the event was a young Martin Luther King Jr.
The NAACP made no secret of its disdain for the GWTW author and her frequent use in print of the N-word, simply for the Ku Klux Klan, and depiction of slaves as enjoying their fate.
Acting in the movie, McDaniel refused to utter the N-word.
Even after World War II, she continued to play underwritten maid parts in such films as 1946’s Song of the South, Walt Disney’s adaptation of the Uncle Remus stories.
In her final years, McDaniel found success on the radio, taking over in 1947 the title character in Beulah, a hit comedy series about a live-in maid. It was the first time an African-American woman starred in a radio show, earning McDaniel $1,000 a week. She was cast in the TV version of Beulah in 1951 but shot only six episodes before falling ill.
She died in 1952 of breast cancer. She was 57.
HOW TO REALLY GET INTO COLLEGE? College counseling has become a widespread industry, with a number of independent experts” even resorting to illegal actions to place youngsters into highly-competitive universities.
Professor Shamus Khan writes in the Washington Post Outlook regarding a more acceptable way to get into the schools – philanthropy. Dr. Khan claims that Jared Kushner was admitted to Harvard, even though he had less than stellar grades after his dad donated $2.5 million to school.
MATERNITY LEAVE. Social worker Dayna Kurtz claims that the United States “holds the dubious distinction of being the only developed country in the world that does not offer paid maternity leave is a federal mandate.”
HUMOR FROM OUR FAVORITE BROTHER-IN-LAW.
The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning , and a good ending… and have them as close together as possible.
For seniors: Remember when soda pop machines dispensed glass bottles… newsreels preceded the movie….you collected 45 RPM records…having a weapon in school meant being caught with a slingshot… your three childhood punishments were having to go to bed early, not being able to leave the house, and not going to a party. These three childhood punishments have become my adult goals.