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Very interesting, this and what I read on the web about people's objections
to _Song of the South_. Everything that people object to was on public TV
last week in _Manor House_, where men and women devoted their entire adult
lives to taking care of wealthy, upper class families. It was pointed out
that they were not allowed to marry, but they laughed and had *some* fun
(not a whole lot) and lived the ups and downs the family did.

In fact, this same servitude shows up in _Upstairs, Downstairs_.

I don't think the black characters in _Song of the South_ were portrayed as
unintelligent. I think the serious parts of their lives were portrayed very
lightly and the less serious, even fun, parts, were treated in depth,
because, *after all,* the movie was about the Uncle Remus stories. It was
*not* a realistic portrayal of life in the post-war South and was not meant
to be.

I studied Joel Chandler Harris in college and I saw _Song of the South_
when I was a child. I think we have something skewed here. And, I think
it's the *fear* of offending people.

All that being said, I don't think it's appropriate to show in a public
school to first graders. At least not without studying the Uncle Remus
stories first, though. And I don't know how a first grade teacher can talk
to children about the servitude, etc., in the movie because I'm not a
teacher. Perhaps clips from the movie would work if it's the Uncle Remus
stories the teacher is interested in.

But I really do doubt that the teacher has a legal copy or has copyright
permission to show it (one or the other).

Phalbe Henriksen
Bradford County Public Library
Starke, FL

>The problem was that the movie depicted African-American people as
>child-like and less
>than intelligent.  It had nothing to do with the dialect used.  It was
>more in the way the people accepted a demeaning role.

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