Black Doctor in Divorce Case Says Wife Tried to ‘Masquerade’ as White


July 23, 1923, Monroe Half Dollars
July 23, 1923: The centennial of the Monroe Doctrine is celebrated at Exposition Park in the American Historical Revue and Motion Picture Exposition.. The U.S. Mint in San Francisco issued commemorative half dollars for the occasion.

The Times says: “One of the most interesting programs yet staged at the exposition will be given today and tonight when police and firemen day will be observed. Fifty Los Angeles firefighters will reenact thrilling rescues at famous fires in the history of Los Angeles.”

In the Theaters: “The Purple Highway” and “The Lover and the Apache” at Grauman’s Metropolitan, 6th and Hill, later the Paramount, which was eventually demolished.

“Human Wreckage” at Grauman’s Rialto, Broadway near 8th.

“East Side – West Side” at Grauman’s Million Dollar Theatre.

“The Covered Wagon” at Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre.

Dr. John S. Outlaw, an African American  physician, files a cross-complaint against his wife’s suit for divorce, alleging that she had an “obsession to masquerade as a member of the white race,” The Times says.

monroe_centennial_front monroe_centennial

The 1923 Monroe Doctrine commemorative half dollar, in images from Wikipedia.


June 30, 1923, Commemorative Half Dollar

July 23, 1923, Monroe Doctrine Centennial

July 23, 1923, Monroe Half Dollars

July 23, 1923, Monroe Doctrine Centennial

July 23, 1923, Theaters
July 23, 1923, Divorce Case

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1823, 1923, African Americans, Art & Artists, Broadway, Comics, Crime and Courts, Downtown, Fires, Hill Street, Hollywood, Theaters and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Black Doctor in Divorce Case Says Wife Tried to ‘Masquerade’ as White

  1. Benito says:

    1. “Human Wreckage” appears to be an attempt by silent movie star Wallace Reid’s wife to cash in on his addiction and/or early death.
    2. Trying to pass for white has often led to turmoil in both white and black communities. See e.g. both movie versions of Imitation Of Life. Speaking from personal experience, I assure you that it still stirs up hostility.


  2. Carter S says:

    Dr. John Sutton Outlaw is my great, great uncle. Thank you for posting this. It adds a very interesting twist to an already complicated family story.


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