Was Al Jolson a racist?

@amadeo (87547)
United States
February 17, 2019 11:39am CST
Al Jolson don black face for some of his shows. Was he a racist ? Below more information I find this very interesting why he done this. give it a read - ------------------------------------------------------ Information on line.Photo on line "He needs this blackface to express a new Jewishness." Crafton agreed that "there was a propensity for these entertainers to be assimilated Jewish immigrants, perhaps because there was some kinship felt with marginalized African-Americans as neighbors in the melting pot.” That Jolson was so popular then, and because blackface in films was so common, "generally, at that time [it] would not have been considered out of the ordinary or offensive,” Crafton said. No one seemingly bothered to ask the country’s black population what they thought, he added. Lapadula contends that Jolson's rendition helped pave the way for African-American actors. Jolson was a civil rights advocate, often backing projects by black artists, including playwright Garland Anderson.
16 people like this
15 responses
@Corbin5 (134762)
• United States
17 Feb
I am sure that most on the left think he most definitely was despite what good he had done. Doing good does not matter to most, but a chance to call someone, anyone, a "racist" does.
3 people like this
@amadeo (87547)
• United States
17 Feb
@Corbin5 thank you Deb
2 people like this
@TheHorse (81812)
• Walnut Creek, California
19 Feb
Oh come on, most lefties are not idiots! It's the silly ones ("Playing or watching sports is microaggression against women") who make the news the most.
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (134762)
• United States
19 Feb
@TheHorse Far too many are and they are embarrassing themselves on a daily basis. They sure believed good old Jussie Smollett and went off half-cocked on that one as they did on the Covington Catholic students. That was idiotic. The silly ones are running for president and they have a ton of silly followers too.
3 people like this
@JohnRoberts (76781)
• Los Angeles, California
17 Feb
I do not believe Jolson was racist. Eddie Cantor and others appeared in blackface. It was common then and taken from minstrel shows.
3 people like this
@amadeo (87547)
• United States
17 Feb
@JohnRoberts yes very common then.I was thinking of the minstrel shows of many years ago.
2 people like this
@Deepizzaguy (17395)
• Lake Charles, Louisiana
22 Feb
It would not bother me to be to see a blackface character compared to hearing the N word being used by rappers these days or the dreaded B word.
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (76781)
• Los Angeles, California
22 Feb
@Deepizzaguy Yes, double standard at work.
@mandala100 (57410)
• Hong Kong
17 Feb
I don't know him my friend and thus I cannot tell for sure.
3 people like this
@amadeo (87547)
• United States
17 Feb
Trying to make comparison then and now.
1 person likes this
@1hopefulman (38698)
• Canada
17 Feb
I thought he was a great entertainer and I loved his singing.
3 people like this
• United Kingdom
17 Feb
In the context of the times no he wasn't. Do it today, however and all hell would break loose!
1 person likes this
@amadeo (87547)
• United States
17 Feb
@ThreeTeddies yes your right.Yes today would have been hell.
2 people like this
@db20747 (15457)
• Washington, District Of Columbia
17 Feb
Saw an interview of him on PBS!! He said it was liberating for him!!! It gave him a chance to be something else!!!
1 person likes this
@amadeo (87547)
• United States
17 Feb
@db20747 yes it was said there.Many do not know of this.
2 people like this
@moonandstars (13403)
• Zagreb, Croatia (Hrvatska)
17 Feb
Today, he couldn't do that. Before, many white men pretended to be Native Americans,Chinese people and other. I must say, it shocked me every time.
1 person likes this
@amadeo (87547)
• United States
17 Feb
2 people like this
@FourWalls (18165)
• United States
18 Feb
Yes, blackface was common then. It was a different world, and we need to remember that instead of trying to impose 2019 values on 1929. One thing I read in doing research: "blackface" was a way that a lot of Black actors, singers, and dancers got to work in Vaudeville. As they were wearing the blackface, no one knew they were really black (except their fellow actors, who didn't object).
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (156662)
• Bunbury, Australia
17 Feb
As you quote, in those days it wasn't considered offensive. Times have changed so much.
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (208609)
• Switzerland
18 Feb
I agree with Teddy, in those times I do not consider he was, in our days it's different.
@amadeo (87547)
• United States
18 Feb
@LadyDuck yes but did not realized that he made pack with them
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (208609)
• Switzerland
18 Feb
@amadeo This is also my opinion, at that time he did not realize.
@TheHorse (81812)
• Walnut Creek, California
19 Feb
Nah, he wasn't a racist.
@amadeo (87547)
• United States
19 Feb
@The Horse I know as he was very good talking to the people there about what he was going to do.' Eddie Cantor was another one.
@dgobucks226 (16281)
18 Feb
I agree with John Roberts statement.
@amadeo (87547)
• United States
18 Feb
@dgobucks226 yes I understand in those day.What I like that he talk to people and ask them if it was Okay. This I like.He respected them.
1 person likes this
@JWMILLER (1573)
• Lafayette, Tennessee
5 Mar
Way back then, Joplsen surely could have worn blackface without being racist, if the was a civil rights supporter.
@Deepizzaguy (17395)
• Lake Charles, Louisiana
22 Feb
I can understand if Al used his star power to keep Blacks down instead of assisting them get into the show business. Blackface do not bother me that much if I were Black (I am a White Latino) compared to the use of the N word which is forbidden to be used in front my late parents.
@GreatMartin (7816)
• Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
18 Feb
It was a different world back then--minstrel shows were big--Jolson was in vaudeville for many years--it was all acceptable under the 'entertainment' label. It is sort of like Milton Berle doing drag--he wasn't anti gay--it was part of entertainment.