Thursday, October 28, 2021

Wanted for Colored Motion Pictures! -- October 28, 2021

Chicago Whip, 29-October-1921

The Gate City Feature Film Company of Chicago advertised for "Girls and Young Men" of color to appear in "our Super-Feature 'Fought and Won.'" I can't find any records of the company or the film, but I will keep digging.

Moving Picture World, 29-October-1921

Ernest Morrison, billed as Sunshine Sammy, had appeared in many of Hal Roach's short comedies with Harold Lloyd and Snub Pollard. Roach starred Morrison in "The Pickanniny." "Pickanniny" is a derogatory term for a child of African descent. Morrison went on to be a member of the Bowery Boys. 

Moving Picture World, 22-October-1921

"a ray of joy." Later, we will see more about the Harris Dickson comedies. 

Moving Picture World, 29-October-1921

I don't know who played Morrison's partner. 

Moving Picture World, 22-October-1921

I was not familiar with the name Harris Dickson. A little research shows me that he was a lawyer and judge from the south. He wrote many stories about small-town life for the Saturday Evening Post. I was not entirely surprised to learn that he was prominent in the Anti-Miscegenation movement. Much of his output was what were referred to as "Colored stories." I have never read one of his stories, but I'll bet they contain the occasional stereotype.

Jasper, Mississippi News, 02-July-1915

"Old Reliable" was Dickson's most popular character. This items says of Dickson that (please excuse the racism) "His stories have helped the nation at large to understand the unique characteristics and appreciate the genuine humor of the southern darkey more than those of any other living writer."

Saturday Evening Post, 25-July-1914

Moving Picture World, 08-October-1921
At least the characters in "The Custard Nine," based on the Saturday Evening Post story were played by actual African-Americans and not European-Americans in blackface.

Moving Picture World, 22-October-1921

Meanwhile, a theater in Cristobal, Panama was promoting a Universal serial called The White Horseman with a guy dressed as a member of the KKK. Fortunately, the police hauled him to jail for brandishing a firearm. 

Exhibitors Herald, 08-October-1921

African American groups like the NAACP were protesting the revival of The Birth of a Nation, which helped to inspire the growth of the second Klan. 

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