Black L.A. 1947: Black, Jewish Protesters Picket Disney’s ‘Song of the South’ at RKO Hillstreet

Feb. 6, 1947, Trackless Trolley

Above, the “trackless trolley,” which was powered by overhead cables but used tires rather than running on rails, is coming to Central Avenue. The trackless trolleys solved streetcars’ problems of maneuverability (passengers could board and disembark at the curb rather than from an island in the street) but they were more expensive than buses and – you know the rest of the story.

Feb. 6, 1947: Protesters are picketing the RKO Hillstreet theater, where Disney’s “Song of the South” is playing. (The film was also picketed when it played in Washington, D.C.)

The protesters at the downtown Los Angeles theater included members of the National Negro Congress, the American Youth for Democracy and the American Jewish Congress, according to Sentinel Theatrical Editor Wendell Green.

Green also noted that The Sentinel and the Tribune staged a similar protest at Lowe’s State theater in 1942 over “Tales of Manhattan,” which featured Paul Robeson, Ethel Waters and Rochester.

“Beale Street Mama,” playing at the Avadon theater, was withdrawn after protests, the Sentinel reported.

The Los Angeles Times did not report on the protests.

Jan. 16, 1947: Local 27 of the American Federation of Teachers, meeting in Washington, called the Disney feature film “Song of the South” “insidious and subtle propaganda against the Negro.”

Feb. 6, 2018, Song of the South

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1947, African Americans, Film, Hollywood, Transportation and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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