27 December 2007

Shout Out to Surfstyley!

Surfstyley left me a message on an old blog post. I wanted to him to see my reply, thus I'm turning it into a new blog post. Here's what he wrote: Hey Surf Sister. Is that you paddling out with curlers in your hair and blue dress on? I am surfstyley on youtube, you link my clips.. I wanted to let you know a little surf history that no one else really knows.. since i have a huge collection of surfing on film and do research all the time.. i have discovered that the very first surfing in a cartoon was from 1917. Yep! and animation was only invented around 1915.. But what is amazing.. is This cartoon, shows a little boy who wants to surf, he steals his Mamie's ironing board.. you know this was back when they had the stereo type black woman with a red bandana on, kitchen apron etc... Aunt Jemime looking woman.. So she comes looking for the boy.. and swims out to him surfing.. she gets attacked by a shark but kicks it's butt, She ends up riding on the sharks back.. and in the end is called the SURF BOARD CHAMP and given a Medal.. Really, so the very first surfing champion to ever been shown in a film is a black woman!.. I will post it on youtube one day.. i haven't yet for fear of people saying it's racist etc.. though it really isn't . I'll send you some framegrabs if you want to put them on your site..It's Classic.. but who knew the first surfing champion on film was a black woman.. yep..Happy Holidays.. surfstyley

The picture of me that he's talking about was from this year's Doo Dah Surf. In my mind, I was dressed as a frowsy housewife from the 50's and 60's. Here's a description of the costume from head to toe: hairnet, curlers, cateye glasses with chain, messy red lipstick, ugly beaded necklace, duster/housecoat, knee high stockings and pink slippers. (Once again, I'll ask if anyone even noticed that I actually surfed in those slippers?!?) About a month ago, I was at the break where the Doo Dah Surf was held. This woman paddles up to me and tells me how she loved my costume, my Aunt Jemima costume!! I was so taken aback by her Aunt Jemima comment that I never heard one other word she uttered. "Who you callin' Aunt Jemima?" is what I wanted to say. Instead, I let it go. One thing I've learned in my 44 years on this Earth is that black folks are often overly sensitive when it comes to race and white folks are more often than not completely confused by that.

Then I got the comment from Surfstyley. Once again, there was the allusion to Aunt Jemima. Mind you, by the time I read his message, I'd been thinking long and hard about all of this. Why Aunt Jemima? Look at the pictures above. The only thing they have in common is that the two women are black. That's it. Frankly, my costume was loosely based on Lucy Ricardo (in her less glamorous attire), Divine in Hairspray and classic TV caricatures of crazy old ladies. Aunt Jemima never crossed my mind. So why did it cross the minds of others?

With that being said, I'd love to see the video Surfstyley mentions in his message. I appreciate him sharing the information with me. Surfstyley, I'd certainly put that cartoon on my blog. And if you decide to download it to YouTube, let me know. I'll leave the first comment, explain who I am and what I am and dare anyone to call you, or the video, racist. Thanks for posting the comment.

I've already been thinking about my costume for next year. I may not participate for reasons I'll not go into. But if I do decide to paddle out, there will be no confusion as to who I am or what I am:


At 1/3/08, 9:38 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Ouch. Sometimes we're just clueless. Maybe it was the housecoat? The unnerving thing is that one of the neighborhood moms where I grew up a-l-w-a-y-s was wearing one of those darn things, and they were always that same light blue color as the one in the pic.

But on the bright side, I now have a reason to enjoy pancakes in the evening because they're "delicious for supper too!"

Happy New Year!


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