From Sammy Davis Jr. to Dave Chappelle's Black Bush, how pop cultureRoundup: Pop Culture & the Arts ... Movies, Documentaries and Museum Exhibits
"You sho' is, youse gwine be president. The book says anybody here can be president."
"Ain't that somethin'!" p —Sammy Davis Jr. and Ethel Waters in Rufus Jones for President
Before anybody had even heard of Barack Obama, before anyone had even considered his presidency a possibility, it was out there, this notion of a brother as commander in chief. Decades before Dennis Haysbert tried to avert bioterrorist threats on 24. Eons before Morgan Freeman comforted a terrified nation about that massive meteor hurtling toward Earth in Deep Impact. Back, back, way back in the day, Hollywood was ahead of the curve, plugging its candidate for the first black president.
Sammy Davis Jr. Specifically, a 7-year-old Sammy Davis Jr. tap dancing, clutching a chicken wing and singing"(I'll Be Glad When You're Dead) You Rascal You," as part of his acceptance speech in Rufus Jones For President.
Well, it was 1933. But still, with that 21-minute musical short, Hollywood set a tone for a radical notion.
There are those who say that Hollywood prepared Americans for electing a black president, that seeing black presidents—not to mention The Cosby Show—on screen over the decades somehow readied the American psyche for last November's Great Leap of Faith.
Right before the election, Dennis Haysbert declared,"If anything, my portrayal of David Palmer, I think, may have helped open the eyes of the American people. And I mean the American people from across the board—from the poorest to the richest, every color and creed, every religious base—to prove the possibility there could be an African-American president, a female president, any type of president that puts the people first."...
comments powered by Disqus
- Rubio Surges Into Second In New Hampshire
- Branstad Says Cruz Ran ‘Unethical’ Campaign
- Christie Highlights Santorum’s Endorsement of Rubio
- Portman Comes Out Against Trade Deal
- Megyn Kelly Gets a Book Deal
- A Big List of the Bad Things Clinton Has Done
- An Unambiguous Sign Sanders Won Last Night’s Debate
- Still Friends at the End
- Quote of the Day
- Trump Still Leads as Clinton Slips
- Clinton Can’t Shake Image as Wall Street’s Friend
- Maddow Doesn’t See Sanders Winning
- Why Does the Media Still Shield Chelsea Clinton?
- Bush Jokes His Mother May Have Abused Him
- Rubio Closes the Gap in New Hampshire
- Newly released interactive map shows images of destroyed monuments of Mosul
- How the Rise of the Post Office Explains American Innovation
- These Americans are reliving history and don’t mind repeating it
- Britain largest home is saved for the nation
- Shelter and the slums: capturing bleak Britain 50 years ago
- WSJ features an article by a conservative calling for the abolition of Black History Month
- Mary Beard, herself a bestselling author, wonders why more women historians aren't
- Princeton U. historian Imani Perry claims mistreatment in parking ticket arrest
- Retired historian George Dennison remains on the payroll at the U. of Montana while faculty are cut
- The Atlantic profiles exciting ways to teach history