A column to himself . . . and another letter of praise
Apparently, my father’s columns on the Will Rogers affair – Rogers referred to black people as “darkies,” an offense that resulted in some community members calling for a boycott of Gulf gas stations – did not sit well with this reader. Although my father did not condone Rogers’ use of the term, he felt strongly that as long as “Negroes” continued to refer to themselves in derogatory terms, arguments that others should not use them were shaky. BTW Gulf Refining Company was the sponsor of the television show on which Rogers appeared. The letter below is from a reader who thought m father’s views were off base.
This column was written a full 15 years before my father became a father (as far as I know), so I find it amusing that he was so quick to stand in judgment of parents, particularly mothers of girls. My mother used to say that the three of us had a lot more freedom than we would have had my father been healthy enough to put his foot down. Frankly, I think he would have been no match for us.
Rather than increase the price of a haircut during the difficult years of the Great Depression, my father thought barbers should do a little less talking about politics, clients’ romantic exploits, etc. If he only had known that his observation that “the average barbershop might easily be seen as an ‘institution of learning and observation,’ was as true in 1934 as it is today. Perhaps he would have enjoyed the Ice Cube movies. Moreover, Harlem Hospital’s recent problems with quality of care are apparently not new.