‘Abraham’-Bing Crosby in Holiday Inn, 1942

 

I wasn’t born until after 1942 so I don’t know how this song number from the movie Holiday Inn was viewed. It was meant to be a tribute to Abraham Lincoln (I like the actual Lincoln picture at the clip’s end).  However, I find the musical number very offensive looking through my 2010 eyes. I wonder how Mr. Crosby felt at the time -all painted up like an African-American?  As I watched the video I felt really embarassed for him and the other white singers/performers who painted their faces.  Of course, I also wonder what African- Americans felt about it? And what about the actual African- American woman and the two young children that were part of the performance-how did they feel? I wonder if they are still alive? I welcome your comments…

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4 Responses to “‘Abraham’-Bing Crosby in Holiday Inn, 1942”

  1. Jaynie says:

    Minstrel shows were not looked down upon…in fact they were more of a testimony of the black folks who just came through slavery which they were only freed in 1863…which would of been 79 years…not even a whole 100 years…which means…slavery would of been very close to their hearts and only a generation…plus public school was not given to the black people until sometime thereafter…because in the 1850’s…it was against the law to school a black person…and folks did get arrested….http://library.thinkquest.org/J002606/mid1800s.html

  2. deejay says:

    Seriously…people today are WAY TOO sensitive. I’d be willing to bet that not one of the screenwriters or actors thought, “Hey, lets make fun of negros with a shuck and jive dance.” The characters in the film were honoring Lincoln and his accomplishment of freeing the slaves and preserving the union. It is so wrong to judge the past by today’s “standards.” How will the future judge us?

  3. B. Nash says:

    Yes, it’s hard for me to believe that the movie that gave us the immortal song White Christmas also featured this number. It had to be racist even back then I would think.

  4. Dave Wiegers says:

    That is rather jarring isn’t it.

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