7 December 2018

Published December 5, 2018 by rochellewisoff

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The next photo is the PROMPT. Remember, all photos are property of the photographer, donated for use in Friday Fictioneers only. They shouldn’t be used for any other purpose without express permission. It is proper etiquette to give the contributor credit. 

As always, please be considerate of your fellow Fictioneers and keep your stories to 100 words. (Title is not included in the word count.)  Many thanks. 

PHOTO PROMPT © Dawn M. Miller

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Genre: Historical Fiction

Word Count: 100

JOURNEY TO THE FRONT OF THE ROOM

“Tell me ‘bout when you was a boy, Daddy.”

            Henry hugged little Hattie, the baby of his thirteen children.  “Last time I got sold I mighta been nine, maybe ten.”

            “Play your banjo, Daddy.”  Her huge eyes shone. “Please.”

            “Only if’n you sings along.”

***

            After performing in carnivals and minstrel shows, Hattie McDaniel set her sights on Hollywood.

            In the 1940’s and 50’s the NAACP criticized the Oscar winning actress for her servile screen roles.  She defied her accusers saying, “Until you offer a better alternative, I’d rather portray a maid for $700 a week than be one for seven.”

 

117 comments on “7 December 2018

  • Individuals make decisions in their own interests, and that’s the basis of economics. Groups make decisions in the collective interest, and that’s the basis of politics. You captured the dilemma really well, Rochelle

    Liked by 2 people

  • Good for Hattie. She was right about the criticism she received. She made better money acting those roles so why shouldn’t she use her talent. She knew things weren’t going to change for some time to come so made the best of it. She did what she could. Good writing, Rochelle. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Josh,

      Hattie was a strong woman who knew what she needed to do to get ahead and she did it with dignity. (Even if the naysayers criticized her). It’s a sorry part of Hollywood history that does make my blood boil. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

    • Dear Björn,

      It was a sad sign of the times when intelligent actors were forced to play shuffling servants. But Ms. McDaniel had the attitude to be a trailblazer. Thank you for reading and commenting. 😀

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • Dear Flower Belle Lee W(T)F,

    I’d rather portray a maid too as my cleaning skills are lacking. Actually, I thought I preferred playing a doctor, but the only roles I could land was as a proctologist–still it’s better than being the patient (in those situations).

    Thanks for another bit of movie history,
    Cuthbert J. Twillie

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Cuthbert J. Twillie,

      In this day and age, I think a proctologist might also be considered a brain surgeon. Glad you enjoyed the movie trivia. Always good with a box of Milk Duds and buttered popcorn. 😉 😀

      Shalom,

      Flower Belle Lee W(T)F

      Like

  • Dear Rochelle,

    Kudos to her for keep on keeping on. All about having the choice, isn’t it? It’s beyond awful that she could not even attend the Academy Awards properly…. or see the premier to her own movie? Seriously gross and unfair. Glad she became an activist and helped create more change.

    Fabulous portrayal as I expect from you 😉

    Lotsa love,

    Dale

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Dale,

      Wouldn’t you just love to meet her? The way I see it is that she played the hand she was dealt with intelligence and courage. I love it that Clark Gable nearly boycotted the opening in Atlanta because Hattie wasn’t allowed to go. It says a lot about him, too. At any rate, Ms. McDaniel is a woman I’ve long had the utmost respect for. (quite the sentence, eh?) As always, thank you for your comments/compliments. 😀

      Shalom and hugs,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • Dear Rochell,

    Thank you for such an inspirational portrayal of a woman who opened doors for others. She was the first African American to win the Academy Award and she wasn’t even allowed to sit with the rest of the cast. And it was many years later that Whoopi Goldberg won an Oscar in the same category. It took years for things to change and I’m thankful to Hattie for paving the way.

    Years ago I wrote a post about her. Check it out when you have time. https://notestowomen.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/hattie-mcdaniel/

    Shalom,
    Adele

    Liked by 1 person

  • There is a measure of bitterness when one is consigned to be limited to the roles others impose upon them, but there is a certain amount of triumph too, in nudging things forward ever so much to allow for a wedge to be driven an open the door of opportunity even wider for the next generation. Thank you, Miss Hattie.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Abhijit,

      Back in the 1930s and 40s the only roles open to black people were those of shuffling servants. There were some blacks who objected to her giving in to the stereotypical roles. Her choice in the day was to accept the roles or not act. Sad but true. Thank you.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • You make dialogue seem so easy. It’s something that is going to take me awhile to master. I’m all in with Hattie. It was her life, her decision and her courage to accomplish what she did given the limitations of the time.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Susan,

      I’m so happy to see you here. 😀 Hattie was amazing. Given the limitations of the time, she took it to the top. I wonder what types of roles she might’ve played given the opportunities?
      Thanks re the dialogue. It’s always been my favorite part of reading and talking does come naturally to me. 😉

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Like

  • When I saw the video clip after reading your story I was struck by the constant, attritional nature of the institutional racism that Hattie and so many others were forced to live through. She was truly a remarkable lady and I am the richer for being enlightened. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear JWD,

      It’s really appalling what black actors in the day had to settle for. Hattie was remarkable and helped paved the way for black actors today. Thankfully we’ve been blessed with their talents in diverse roles. Thank you for your affirming comments.

      Shalom,

      Rochelle

      Liked by 1 person

  • I think Hattie was a brave woman. She did what she felt called to do and stuck to her guns no matter the criticism directed at her! I think helped open the door for others to follow in her footsteps. Great write!

    Like

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