Minstrels in Black Face

Minstrels in Black face

When I was child my favorite cartoon was the Jetsons. 

The Jetsons

It was a very popular cartoon in the 1960’s about a family that lived in an advanced space age, almost utopian, except for the day to day  interactions of the entire family.  You see the Jetsons lived in a very modern technologically advanced world.  Their house was in the sky, they had a three day work week, drove aero cars that looked like flying saucers, even had a robotic  maid and a dog that talked but they were still very human in a comedic way.

The Jetsons’ School

It was as if the Jetsons cartoon was showing us a preview of a forthcoming future so we could mentally and physically prepare ourselves and the next generation for the inevitable. Sometimes it takes fifty or sixty years to get ready for what’s coming, and sometimes you know it’s coming but you also know you won’t be around to see it.

Believe it or not I thought when the year 2000 came our nation would be so far advanced operating just like the Jetsons but to my dismay it seems like the 21st Century has had massive evolution and advancement in technology but humanity as a whole is becoming estranged.

There are so many contributing factors to this estrangement including the 2020 Pandemic, but the pandemic only exposed an illness that had been masked while we walked around in oblivion.

History has an uncanny way of repeating itself especially when one chooses to ignore the cycles an era presented.

I have a saying, that every generation has a national assignment and they are allotted a certain amount of time to complete the assignment. If the generation does not complete their assignment or choose to ignore it, the new generation coming can’t move forward until the previous generation’s assignment has been done.

We are now twenty years forward into the 21st Century and although we are a digital and virtual society, humanity is trying to transition back to an undercover Jim Crow atmosphere. Jim Crow was not an individual but a character that was brought to life in the 1800’s through minstrel routines. Even the minstrel routine became obsolete from acting in blackface; singing and performing jokes in slave dialect, but the spirit of the character Jim Crow and the name itself became a euphemism to demean, deny and destroy one race of people. The name became the creator for legalized repression, insidious and just pure evil acts. The rest is history.

Remember the old saying “Life imitates art far more than art imitates life”. Just like the Jetsons cartoon was showing a future in the 20th Century that we can see fast unfolding in this 21st Century. Don’t ever get so comfortable that you forget a character was birthed from a minstrel routine that stripped one race of their dignity to humor another race.

Our assignment is to operate in the immediate now and insure that history does not repeat itself. It is urgent that we move collectively in this hour so the oncoming generation will live to complete their assignment.

By Dr. Susie Jones