Yes. I sang it to the tune of M-I-C   K-E-Y    M-O-U-S-E

(alternately titled: I haven’t done a “Reasons why I hate Disney” post this year yet)

I’m just gonna assume that everybody who gets this e-mail has at least a passing  familiarity with The Boondocks. I’m excluding old folks. Well, really, just my mommy and aunties. Daddy, I’m SURE you probably have heard of, if not SEEN it. It’s your kinda show. Srsly.

Did y’all know that Uncle Ruckus’s name is a reference to Uncle Remus or Uncle Tom. He is the darkest-skinned character on the show. His name is also a reference to Amos Rucker, an African-American United Confederate Veterans member, who allegedly wanted to stay a slave after the United States Civil War. (Picks up eyeballs from the floor because EPIC EYEBALL ROLL). He is a black man who firmly doesn’t like black people– the world’s biggest “Uncle Tom”. An overweight, homely man with disproportionate eyes, he enjoys disassociating himself from other African Americans as much as possible, and is outspoken in his support of what Huey calls the “white supremacist power structure.”

I know y’all know about Uncle Tom. Because BOOKS.

But who’s that Uncle Remus fella?

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 That there is James Baskett, the singer-dancer-actor who plays Uncle Remus, ex-slave in Walt Disney’s ‘Song of the South.’

Song of the South is about a young boy, who moves to his mother’s family plantation in Georgia right as his father leaves the family to fight…something. Nobody knows what. Alone and depressed, he’s comforted by the tall tales of Uncle Remus. While it’s implied that the black workers are no longer Johnny’s family’s property, they are still completely subservient, and happily so. Remus is a companion, and link between the live-action sequences and the animated ones involving Brer “don’t throw ME in the briar patch” Rabbit and Brer Fox

Fun Fact: Baskett was not allowed to attend the film’s premiere in Atlanta, Georgia because Atlanta was racially segregated by law.

ANYWAYS. Baskett won an “honorary” Oscar for “his able and heart-warming characterization of Uncle Remus, friend and story teller to (white)children of the world. Baskett also introduced the Academy Award-winning song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.” (See? Songs I love, CHARACTERS I DON’T)

Moving on… The last time Disney released the film was 1986. But never in home video format in the US. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY.

 

And lest you think that I don’t have anything Black History Fact of the Day(ish) to add:

Did you know that James Baskett, a black man, was the VERY FIRST LIVE ACTOR hired by Disney?

 

And that’s it kids! Another month of “LOOK AT ALL THESE BLACK PEOPLE” in the can. I hope you learned something! Because I always do. After all, ain’t but so many ways you can learn about Martin, and Malcolm, and Harriet and Rosa. Other black people were out there doing shit too! And when they are, I’ll be back next February to tell you about it. Please enjoy not really thinking about black people doing stuff because we can only talk about that during February and tomorrow is March.

 

 

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