Skinfolks, Kinfolks & the theme of "Passing" in American Films
- Scene from the Original (1934) Version
of the classic film "IMITATION OF LIFE"
The 1934 version of the film "imitation of Life" (starring Mixed-Race actress of
African-American Ethnicity, 'Fredi Washington', was and still is considered "a classic"
-- with it's heart-wrenching tale of the decision a young woman feels compelled
to make in an attempt to be treated as an 'equal' citizen in society.
The 1950's re-make of the film is a technicolor-tragedy in both it's insistence
in casting a mono-racially 'White' actress to play the key role and in it's mocking
and falisification of the 'real' reason the young woman makes her decision -- and,
instead, purposefully gives the false impression that people who made such
decisions only did so out of 'jealousy' for Whites and 'contempt' for Blacks.
In fact, the re-make (whose timing seemed to conveniently coincide with the
implementation of 'The American Civil Rights Movement') seemed to be saying -- to any
person-of-color who wanted 'equal' treatment and opportunity -- "n****r, get back in yo' place".
There is simply no comparison of the of the 1934 "classic" original and the 1950's re-make.
Picture of a quiz provided in 'Ebony' magazine, circa 1952. |AND| (Fredi Washington in 'Shuffle Along')
(Note: Notice how the quiz creators have made the
erroneous choice of using the racist, "one-drop" term of
'Negro' to refer to what are clearly Mixed-Race people).
Links of Interest:
Related Posts of Interest:
Links to Books of Interest:
Links on "passing":