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It was once the age of Jim Crow, riddled with racial violence and unrest. yet on the earth of Our Gang, black and white childrens fortunately performed and made mischief jointly. They even had their very own black and white model of the KKK, the Cluck Cluck Klams—and the general public enjoyed it.

The tale of race and Our Gang, or The Little Rascals, is rife with the contradictions and aspirations of the sharply conflicted, altering American society that was once its theater. Exposing those connections for the 1st time, Julia Lee exhibits us how a lot this sequence, from the 1st silent shorts in 1922 to its tv revival within the Fifties, unearths approximately black and white American culture—on each side of the silver display. behind the curtain, we discover unconventional males like Hal Roach and his gag writers, whose Rascals tapped into strong American myths approximately race and adolescence. We meet the 4 black stars of the series—Ernie “Sunshine Sammy” Morrison, Allen “Farina” Hoskins, Matthew “Stymie” Beard, and Billie “Buckwheat” Thomas—the gang in the Gang, whose own histories Lee pursues throughout the passing years and moving political landscape.

In their checkered lives, and within the tumultuous lifetime of the sequence, we find an unexplored tale of the United States, the messy, multiracial country that present in Our Gang a comic book avatar, a slapstick model of democracy itself.

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