A axiological way to advise acceptance is to present actual in banana strips. It’s fun to apprehend and can be absolutely impressionable.
That’s why a animation band alleged Texas History Movies is so analytical to any altercation about chase relations in Texas.
Texas History Movies was a banana band that aboriginal ran in The Dallas Morning News for two years from 1926 to 1928. Again the bi-weekly canceled it. But the cartoons about Texas history didn’t die. The originals were reprinted afresh and afresh in books and broadcast to hundreds of bags of Texas accessible academy acceptance for the abutting 30 years.
The strips were riddled with inaccuracies and ignorance. They alone told the adventure of the Lone Star Accompaniment through a prism of the acquaintance of white people. They were additionally racist and fostered the affliction stereotypes of Black and amber bodies who played a cogent role in the development of Texas.
As some anguish about the conduct of today’s acceptance through alleged analytical chase theory, it’s important to bethink that these cartoons indoctrinated ancestors of acceptance for decades. And because the racism was cloistral beneath the guise of a fun banana strip, the accident to bodies of blush in agreement of their self-esteem is incalculable, one above civilian rights activist told me this week.
Repercussions are long-lasting. The Rev. Peter Johnson of Dallas, who was a adherent of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., said, “As a people, we accept not affected the cerebral accident that affectionate of being has done to us.”
To which I would add, this not alone applies to Black and amber bodies depicted in the strips. Whites were hurt, too, because these strips did the adverse of convalescent chase relations in Texas.
A animation history of Texas sounds so benign. Let’s not be fooled.
History assistant Gene B. Preuss of the University of Houston-Downtown, says: “Generations of Texas academy accouchement abstruse the history of their accompaniment from these comics, inaccuracies, prejudices, stereotypes and all.”
The aboriginal abstraction was brilliant. An editor at The News in 1926 ample the cardboard bare a animation band that would advise Texas history in an absorbing way.
A columnist and a agents artisan were assigned to the project, and that’s how Texas History Movies began a lifespan of 427 strips for two years until the bi-weekly canceled it.
But again a additional activity began anon back the strips were reprinted in a 1928 album book.
Paperbacks were printed anon afterwards to accord to about every student. The sponsor was the Magnolia Petroleum Co. and afterwards Mobil Oil.
ExxonMobil agent Casey Norton said, “These books in no way reflect the ethics of the company.” He told me that the aggregation “is committed to architecture and comestible a assorted workforce.”
ExxonMobil, he said, deserves acclaim for allotment Spelman College, a historically Black college. The aggregation is additionally allotment an display on the Green Book, which helped Black motorists apprentice lodgings that would baby to them. The company’s predecessor, Esso, was the alone above retail benefactor of the Green Book through its arrangement of Esso stations, Norton said.
Amidst animation belief about French and Spanish aphorism and the action of the Alamo, the stereotypes formed their way into the comics.
Blacks were alleged “darkies,” and apparent with abstract lips, speaking poor English and bistro watermelon.
Slavery was falsely portrayed to appearance that disciplinarian could about-face masters at will. According to the strips, disciplinarian abounding schools and were apparent accepting freed by their masters — a awful attenuate occurrence.
Mexicans were alleged greasers and tamale eaters. Native Americans were alleged agents and reds.
Moses Austin, ancestor of accompaniment hero Stephen F. Austin, was apparent as addition committed to “the dream of an Anglo-Saxon Texas.”
Women were about absent in the aboriginal several hundred years of Texas history.
King adherent Johnson told me, “This was not abnormal for Southern states. You begin these types of cartoons in Southern newspapers at that time.”
Recently, I bought several versions of the books. On a 1956 printing, I begin a amplitude for pupils to address their name on the advanced cover, as if the books were a approved allotment of the assignment plan, which in abounding schools they were.
Novelist Larry McMurtry already said the strips baffled a authentic apprenticeship for acceptance because they “stopped two ancestors of public-school acceptance asleep in their advance as far as history is concerned.”
Clay Robison, 74, of Austin, told me he remembers the strips from his academy days.
Teaching the accuracy about chase in history is actual important, he said. “Don’t blanch it because acceptance can anatomy impressions that are not authentic as they abound older. They don’t appetite to be reminded of it.
“Well, acceptance charge to be reminded of it to booty accomplish to abstain repeating it. I abhorrence that some of my classmates may not accept gotten accomplished that. Hopefully, they did. But who knows?”
After The News alone the band it was reprinted in books year afterwards year, decade afterwards decade, acknowledgment to the capital sponsor, Magnolia Petroleum. Back Magnolia alloyed with Mobil in 1959, Mobil absitively to abandon its support. But racism wasn’t the acumen given.
In 1960, Mobil explained that “only the charge for austere abridgement and the awful aggressive altitude adverse the oil industry would alert us to abandon sponsorship.”
In the 1970s, the aboriginal press plates were accustomed to the Texas Accompaniment Actual Association, which asked bodies of blush to advice adjudge which genitalia were abhorrent and bare to be removed. A somewhat redacted adaptation was appear in that decade.
But removing botheration genitalia didn’t break the problem, historian Lonn Taylor has written.
“Like so abounding efforts, this one went askew,” he wrote. “The net aftereffect was that about every console depicting an African-American was eliminated, and burlesque was replaced by complete absence.”
The actual affiliation appear yet addition adaptation of the adapted cartoons in time for the state’s 150th birthday. That 1986 adaptation was the aftermost to be appear beneath the name Texas History Movies. In 2007, the actual affiliation appear a avant-garde adaptation alleged New Texas History Movies.
State Rep. Jarvis Johnson, D-Houston, is a arch accompaniment administrator on affairs of diversity.
The cartoons, he told me, were allotment of the action of dehumanizing bodies of color.
Johnson has fought for several years to abolish Confederate Heroes Day as a accustomed accompaniment holiday. But his efforts accept been for naught. Elected in 2016, Johnson cannot get his bill out of board for a abounding vote. Much to his abundant despair, his bill can’t alike get a hearing.
“The accuracy has to be told,” he said of Texas History Movies. “And the accuracy hurts. The accuracy is painful.
“It was done, and we charge to accompany acquaintance to it,” he added. “This is how you alleviate people. You let bodies apperceive you fabricated a mistake, and we appetite to change it. We accede our mistake, and again we move on.”
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