Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Episode 118: "The Beulah Show"
I like to try and keep y'all guessing as to what I'm gonna put out next, and this episode is a television first...the first show to star an African American woman...the one...the only...The Beulah Show! Starring Hattie McDaniel, this episode of 'The Beulah Show' is called 'The Waltz', and I must say that I found it entertaining. To start off, the show is funny. How about that lil' football dance that Bill shows to Little Donnie. But then I start to thinking...what is Beulah doing taking care of that white family like that for? What's wrong with the mom? Where's Beulah's own family? Apparently, this show was eventually canceled in 1953 due to protests from the NAACP because of its stereotypical portrayals of Black women in domestic positions. And although the show is not overtly racist, the family doesn't go around calling Beulah names or mistreating anybody, but it does reflect the times that created it. The racist times of the 1950s when blacks were expected to know their places, alongside and serving the good white folks. Anyhow, this is one of the episodes of this show that has survived over the years. It was entertaining, and does have a good message, and does portray some interaction between the races. I mean after all, Beulah is an integral part of this family's life and a motherly figure to the young boy. But I guess that's just and example of the complicated history of American racism. Y'all can take a look and decide for yourselves whether you think it deserved to be canceled or not. Peace.
P.S. I tried to update the short opening clip for the podcast...let me know what y'all think.