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This Week in Blackface: Kate Smith and Coon Songs

This Week in Blackface: Kate Smith and Coon Songs

"It turns out that Smith recorded at least two songs that were hits in the early 1930s but are now seen for what they are: racist riffs. One is called “That’s Why Darkies Were Born.” It starts, “Someone had to pick the cotton, someone had to slave and be able to sing, that’s why darkies were born.” The other is titled, “Pickaninny Heaven,” which also brims with racist language and was featured in the film Hello, Everybody! starring Smith.

After the New York Daily News published a story last week informing readers of Smith’s early recordings, the Yankees immediately discontinued their tradition, started in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, of playing Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch. Meanwhile, the Flyers said they would stop playing the song after being associated with it for the past half-century. The team also covered up and then later removed a statue of Smith that has stood outside its arena since 1987."

Source: https://theundefeated.com/features/kate-smiths-racist-songs-arent-surprising-but-flyers-yankees-should-do-more-than-cover-up-her-statue/


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