East Of Eden

"A curious mix of the relevant and reverential"


Flashback Friday: Marlon Brando's Eulogy for a Black Panther.


Bobby Seale Marlon Brando at Bobby Hutton Memorial Rally 0468 by Jeff Blankfort web

Black Panther Bobby Seale with actor Marlon Brando. (Image Source: San Francisco Bay View)

 

In a San Francisco Bay View film review for the 2015 documentary "Listen to Me Marlon", the story of Marlon Brando's press-making eulogy for slain Black Panther Bobby Hutton is retold:

In the late ‘60s, Marlon Brando and Jane Fonda are credited with helping to bring the Black Panther Party and their politics to a mainstream white audience. In 1967, Brando gave a speech at the funeral of 17-year-old Black Panther Bobby Hutton who was unjustifiably murdered by Oakland police.

 

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The Preachers: Aimee Semple McPherson, America's first female celeb evangelist.


 

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Aimee Semple McPherson, the Pentecostal Preacher who could've been a Silent Screen Star. (Image: Foursquare Church)

 Aimee Semple McPherson was... so much. A Canadian missionary to China as a young newlywed; a widow with a sickly infant daughter a few years later; an acutely depressed and miserable mom of two and housewife in New England in marriage number two; and a traveling evangelist headlining packed tent revivals for Whites and Blacks, even in the segregated U.S. South. Oh yes, and that was all before she was 27 years old.

Thing is, when Aimee is remembered today (actually, if), she is reduced to the scandal that irrevocably altered her perception in the eyes of the public. She suddenly disappeared from a public beach in California in 1926, and was presumed by thousands to have drowned. After a month, she reappeared just as abruptly in Mexico, with claims that she been abducted by a trio of baddies looking for a steep payday by ransom. She ruined their plans by escaping out a window and walking for hours through the scorching desert. However, this tale was just too tall for many to accept, and alternate theories for Aimee's being M.I.A. abounded, most notably that she had been on a secret rendevous with a married lover.

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Flashback Friday: When Grace Kelly stormed out of the Stork Club after they refused to serve Josephine Baker.

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Grace Kelly and Josephine Baker, circa 1951. (Image sources here and here)

In October 1951, Grace Kelly, just beginning to make a name for herself, decided to have a night out on the town at famous Manhattan nightclub, Stork Club. Also at the club that night was Josephine Baker, internationally renowned singer, dancer and famous ex-pat who was in the States to perform a series of concerts after years living in France.

Unfortunately, Baker wound up leaving the eatery after an hour of non-service; she stormed out claiming she had never received her dinner because of her race. Some dispute this, but one person who did not was Kelly. Observing the scene, she was shocked and left, too. From Mental Floss:

When the racist staff refused to wait on Baker, Kelly, who was dining with a large party of her own, flew into a rage and walked out of the club in support of Baker.

 

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Come Clean: Glenn Lewis, don't forget what, exactly?


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Basically my face everytime I actually try to sing the lyrics to this song over the past fifteen years. (Image via Vevo)

 

Welcome to the first in my new series, "Come Clean", where I'll admit something. Or some things. Today, I'll admit that despite bumping Glenn Lewis' "Don't You Forget It" on the regular during the Early Aughts epoch of Neo-Soul, I didn't actually have a clue what he was talking about. Sure, I heard the chorus admonishing "Don't forget your way home for that little girl", but I wasn't sure who that little girl is. The unknown protagonist, looking back at her younger self? Then who is he to her? And what the heck do these words have to do with the video, which was pretty much one long "Whoops, just missed you!" If you need a refresher, here's the vid:

 

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Flashback Friday: The Black Actress Who Launched her career in "The Birth of a Nation".

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(Madame Sul-Te-Wan, Image Source: BlackPast.org)

 

And no, I absolutely do NOT mean last year's controversial Nate Parker flick, "The Birth of a Nation". I'm talking the D.W. Griffith, 1915 film that celebrates the supposed end of the "treachery" that was Reconstruction and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan. From Wikipedia:

The Birth of a Nation (originally called The Clansman) is a 1915 American silent epic drama film directed and co-produced by D. W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish. The screenplay is adapted from the novel and play The Clansman, both by Thomas Dixon Jr. Griffith co-wrote the screenplay (with Frank E. Woods), and co-produced the film (with Harry Aitken). It was released on February 8, 1915.

 

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