Discussion in 'Black People Open Forum' started by skuderjaymes, Nov 28, 2011.
GONE WITH THE WIND
By Andre Austin
Gone With The Wind written by Margaret Mitchell in 1936 and turnt into a block buster movie in 1939 was a tremendous blow to black civil rights. I was drawn to the film because I heard a black actor by the name of Hattie McDaniel was the first to win an Oscar for best supporting actress. A black first has always been a magnet to my curious mind, ears and eyes.
Believe it or not but in 1939 ten year-old Martin Luther King Jr. went to the premiere of Gone With the Wind with his parents dressed up as a pickaninny.
Margaret Mitchell was born in 1900 in Atlanta, Georgia where her scenes from Gone with the Wind were set. She died in 1949 but her novel lives on selling like new Bible editions and pancakes. The original title of her book wasn’t Gone with the Wind but I like it because it was linked to the southern way of life of owning slaves ended gone like the wind blows. Gone with the Wind I believe was written in part to get a nation to feel sorry for white slave owners were the supposed victims of the Civil War by ending their economic blessing of free labor and allowing blacks the vote.
Margaret Mitchell was a soft racist. I got a hint of this real early on when a character in the novel and movie was named John Wilkes an allusion to John Wilkes Booth who shot President Lincoln because he wanted black war veterans and literate blacks to vote. It was known that Mrs. Mitchell privately collected pornography and this is shown in her novel of marrying men for money and revenge and never out of love. As a matter of fact Scarlett O’Hara had a self-inflicted nearly psychotic insecurity. Her intentions were to manipulate and subdue men. She wanted a married man she couldn’t never have. Her obsession reached a climatic peek when Rhett butler (Clark Cable) had enough of her obsession and left her leaving his famous, iconic line: “Frankly my dear I don’t give a ****”.
Blacks were portrayed as simple minded darkees. A house servant Prissy (Butterfly McQueen) was slapped because she lied about knowing how to birth babies. She said: “Idont know nothing bout birthin no babies”. Anyway, the doctor couldn’t come to the plantation because he was preoccupied cutting off the limbs of Confederate soldiers who were fighting for economic freedom of the North. Prissy had a stupid high pitch voice just like Lovetta Alize Jenkins (Terri Vaugh) voice on The Steve Harvey Show. Mammy was (Hattie McDaniel’s). Martin Lawrence replayed this role in Big Mama’s House 1 & 2. Mammy was like an Aunt Jemima, overweight, sexless, long-suffering nurturer that takes cares of other peoples families except her own. Only in extreme emotional happiness or sadness does Scarlett gives Big Sam or Uncle Peter her grandfathers watch for he appreciation of service. Unfortunately, the unwise slave tell s her to use it to pay off the $300 dollars in raised property taxes the Carpetbaggers levied against her plantation. Scarlett steps up her Jezebel skills to get married and get her taxes paid for the love of money and property. After all, after the war was over she promised herself to do anything to keep herself and family from going hungry.
When Mrs. Mitchell was in college in Massachusetts she was upset that she was in a history class with other black students. A journalist by the name of Alice Randall wrote an unauthorized parody to explode the mythology perpetrated by a Southern classic. Randall was concerned about Mitchell not including any mulatoes like herself in the novel. Mitchell was a racist why would she put mulatoes in her novel when she was clearly obsessed with white married men and pornography in real life. Mulatoes were a sign of white men desiring black females over white females. I recommend people read The Wind Done Gone to knock Mitchell off her pedestal. When Randall’s book came out in 2001 Mitchell estate went to court trying to block her publication. And I would bet money Margaret was turning in her coffin using her motif: “Great balls of fire”.
The NAACP president in 1939, Walter White, said Gone With the Wind effectively blocked Congress from passing anti-lynching bills. Culture (television, radio, video music) people are influenced by. Look at The Birth of a Nation film that helped the KKK recruit new members. Art imitates life and life imitates art. I recall years ago when I worked at a juvenile home. The kids were being kids and they were joking around assigning roles from a film Panther from which they watch several dozen of times. Prissy was typecast playing an ignorant servant. When she didn’t want to play that role anymore she was reduced down to washing dishes. That was her punishment for not perpetrating a Southern myth. History is neutral for wish we can use to learn and grow from or stay in the childish ways of racism.
When the movie premiered in Atlanta at the fox theater the black cast couldn’t even attend. And today white corporate America overworks blacks having 1 do the work of three and prefer big black females to cook for them. We must change and the ice age of inhumanity and racism is melting away ,hopefully blowing away like some wind or else go up in flames with a ball of fire.
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