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June 1995, Week 1


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Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Gloria Monti <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 31 May 1995 19:24:53 -0400
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
text/plain (21 lines)
> There are, of course,  the tragic mulattas--Pinky (jeanne Crain) and Peola
> played by white actresses but living out the "tragedy" of race
> mixture--sterile by choice since they couldn't be sure if black skin would
> come out in a child.
        Peola in *Imitation of Life?* (1934).  Fredi Washington was
African-American.  And to continue my inquiry about the racializing of
Hollywood performers, why is Peola treated as a tragic mulatta by almost
all critics I read (with the exception of Donald Bogle, who calls Peola
"light skinned black girl who passes for white"), when diegetically there
is no indication that she was biracial?  Aunt Delilah (Louise Beavers,
who, by the way, was cast in the role of Peola's mother when she was only
one year older than Washington) tells Miss Bea that Peola's father was
light skinned, not that he was not African-American.
        Gloria Monti
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