One Black Couple Shown


Although this film was set in 1961, and the central theme was not (the just
beginning of) integration of public schools, if you closely examine some scenes,
a (token?) black couple can be seen. I wonder--did the producers do this just
to add a little further "titillation" to the film? Political correctness?
(Even in 1961?) Or, perhaps, a genuine effort to show integration changes that
were just beginning in most American public schools? Although the Supreme
Court had ordered public schools to be integrated "with all deliberate speed"
in 1954, but as we all know, integration was done with anything but "deliberate
speed."

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I was a junior (with a small j) in 1961. I attended 10 schools in my 12 years of "education". Only the first of those many schools was not integrated, for the simple fact there were no blacks or Indians living in the area.

I saw plenty of blacks in schools back then.

But in this movie, I agree, it was done for titillation. I watched the movie not for the subject matter but to see the cars and clothes of my childhood:)

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Unfortunately I missed the first 20 minutes of this film. It's playing on TCM as I type this. There is a protest scene where 2 black couples can clearly be seen. I don't think Hollywood in 1961 cared about political correctness. Even though the Hollywood film industry was very liberal at the time, that liberalism rarely came across in the movies or TV shows that they made when it came to race. Oddly the scene where the police are brought in the break up the protest, they also have a fire truck there. The principle threatens to have the fire hose turn on the protesters. It's ironic because at that time in 1961 black people were being brutalized in the streets with fire hose, k-9's and police and even worst in the south.

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The early 1960s was a time when Hollywood movies in general were starting to show more characters who "happened to be black" in supporting or background roles -- token Negroes, as we used to call them. Well, at least a token was better than nothing!



All the universe . . . or nothingness. Which shall it be, Passworthy? Which shall it be?

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I think they just happened to be there. I wouldn't read too much sociological significance into it. The tall black guy with the sunglasses seemed to fit in really well, like hanging around with white people was no big deal.

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