Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-75dct Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-05-22T18:51:27.324Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Sexing Farina: Our Gang's Episodes of Racial Childhood

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020

Abstract

By examining the episodically shiting gender of the character Farina in Hal Roach's Our Gang series, this article argues that the integrationist fantasy Roach offered depended on a strategy for representing black children that shows the speciically temporal limits to popular entertainment's ability to imagine black adolescence in the early twentieth century. he two prevailing views of the series—Our Gang as integrationist and Our Gang as mired in racist stereotypes—are not exclusive but mutually constitutive, and the tie that binds the two is the strange pleasure audiences found in the black child whose gender changed. By attending to the fact that the integration in the series happened in relation to black boys in particular, we can see Our Gang's episodic treatment of Farina as a formal response to national anxieties about black masculinity and racialized sexuality.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Modern Language Association of America, 2018

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Works Cited

Bernstein, Robin. Racial Innocence: Performing American Childhood from Slavery to Civil Rights. New York UP, 2011.Google Scholar
Edith, B.M. Review of Are These Our Children, directed by Wesley Ruggles. Screenland, no. 24,4 Feb. 1932, p. 100.Google Scholar
Carter, Huntly. The New Spirit of the Cinema: An Analysis and Interpretation of the Parallel Paths of the Cinema, Which Have Led to the Present Revolutionary Crisis Forming a Study of the Cinema as an Instrument of Sociological Humanism. Harold Shaylor, 1930.Google Scholar
The Champeen. Directed by Robert F. McGowan, Hal Roach Studios, 1923.Google Scholar
Feuer, Jane. “Narrative Form in American Network Television.” Critical Visions in Film Theory, edited by Corrigan, Timothy et al., Bedford/ St. Martin's, 2011, pp. 610–19.Google Scholar
Gates, Henry' Louis, [r. Foreword. J. Lee, pp. vii-xxi.Google Scholar
Goldsby, Jacqueline. A Spectacular Secret: Lynching in American Life and Literature. U of Chicago P,2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Gone with the Wind. Directed by Victor Fleming, MGM Studios, 1939.Google Scholar
Hall, Leonard. “Retired at Eleven.” Photoplay, vol. 40, no. 1, fune 1931, pp. 35+.Google Scholar
Haraway, Donna. “Teddy Bear Patriarchy: Taxidermy in the Garden of Eden, New York City, 1908–1936.” Social Text, no. 11, Winter 1984–85, pp. 2064.10.2307/466593CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hartman, Saldlya. Terror, Slavery, and Self-Making in Nineteenth-Century America. Oxford UP, 1997.Google Scholar
Hayward, Jennifer. Consuming Pleasures: Active Audiences and Serial Fictions from Dickens to Soap Opera. UP of Kentucky, 1997.Google Scholar
Hennefeld, Maggie. “Slapstick Comediennes In Transitional Cinema: Between Body and Medium.” Camera Obscura, vol. 29, no. 2,2014, pp. 85117.10.1215/02705346-2704643CrossRefGoogle Scholar
High Society. Directed by Robert F. McGowan, Hal Roach Studios, 1924.Google Scholar
Horak, Laura. “Trans on YouTube-. Intimacy, Visibility, Temporality.” Trans Cultural Production, special Issue of Transgender Studies Quarterly, vol. 1, no. 4, Dec. 2014, pp. 572–85.Google Scholar
Howe, Herbert. “Close-Ups and Long-Shots.” Photoplay, vol. 28, no. 2, July 1925, p. 36.Google Scholar
Information Desk.” Modem Screen, Apr. 1936, p. 14.Google Scholar
Lee, Julia. Our Gang: A Racial History of The Little Rascals. U of Minnesota P, 2015.Google Scholar
Lee, William C. Letter to W.E.B. Du Bols. 15 July 1919. W.E.B. Du Bols Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MS 312. Credo, credo.library.umass.edu/vlew/full/mums312-bl65-i024.Google Scholar
Lodge Night. Directed by Robert F. McGowan, Hal Roach Studios, 1923.Google Scholar
Maltln, Leonard. The Little Rascals: Vie Life and Times of Our Gang. Random House, 1977.Google Scholar
“Members of ‘Our Gang’ — ‘Cradle Robbers.’ Masters and Masterpieces of the Screen, edited by Taylor, C.W., P.F. Collier, 1927, p. 52.Google Scholar
Mitt el, Jason. “Narrative Complexity in Contemporary American Television.” Vie Velvet Light Trap, no. 58, Fall 2006, pp. 2940.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Munoz, Jose Esteban. “Cruising the Toilet: LeRoi Jones / Amiri Baraka, Radical Black Traditions, and Queer FuturityGLQ, vol. 13, nos. 2–3,2007, pp. 353–67.Google Scholar
Newman, Michael. “From Beats to Arcs: Toward a Poetics of Television Narrative.” Velvet Light Trap, no. 58, Fall 2006, pp. 1628.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
“The Newsreel.”Boys Cinema, no. 607,1 Aug. 1931, p. 2.Google Scholar
Ngal, Sianne. Ugly Feelings. Harvard UP, 2005.Google Scholar
No Noise. Directed by Robert F. McGowan, Hal Roach Studios, 1923.Google Scholar
Novel Tle-Ups for Shorts.” Morton Picture News, vol. 37, no. 26, 30 June 1928, p. 2176.Google Scholar
Nyong'o, Tavla. “Racial Kitsch and Black Performance.” Vie Yale Journal of Criticism, vol. 15, no. 2, Fall 2002, pp. 371–91.Google Scholar
Our Gang. Directed by Robert F. McGowan, Hal Roach Studios, 1922.Google Scholar
Our Gang Comedies.” The Film Daily, 5 Dec. 1926, p. 15. “Players We Know.” Exhibitor's Trade Review, 8 Mar. 1924, p. 27.Google Scholar
Seein' Things. Directed by Robert F. McGowan, Hal Roach Studios, 1924.Google Scholar
Seymour, Nicole. “Somatic Syntax: Replotting the Developmental Narrative In Carson McCullers's The Member of the Wedding? Studies in the Novel, vol. 41, no. 3, Fall 2009, pp. 293313.Google Scholar
Shelfer, Jolie A. Tlie Romance of Race: Incest, Miscegenation, and Multiculturalism in the United States, 1880–1930. Rutgers UP, 2013.Google Scholar
Sielke, Sabine, ‘“[oy in Repetition’; or. The Significance of Seriality on Processes of Memory and (Re-)mediatioji.” Vie Memory Effect: The Remediation of Memory in Literature and Film, edited by Russell, J.A. Kilboumand Eleanor Ty, Wilfrid Laurier UP, 2013, pp. 3750.Google Scholar
Singer, Ben. Melodrama and Modernity: Early Sensational Cinema audits Contexts. Columbia UP, 2001.Google Scholar
Sloane, F.W.Paging Jackie's Barber.” Photoplay, vol. 30, no. 1, June 1926, p. 128.Google Scholar
Spillers, Hortense. “Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: An American Grammar Book.” Dtacrttcs, vol. 17, no. 2, Summer 1987, pp. 6581.Google Scholar
Start an ‘Our Gang’ Day.” Exhibitors Trade Review, 25[uly 1925, pp. 3738.Google Scholar
Stowe, Harriet Beecher. Uncle Tom's Cabin. Project Gutenberg, 2006, www.gutenberg.org/files/203/203-h/203-h.htm.Google Scholar
Streible, Dan. “Itinerant Filmmakers and Amateur Casts: A Homemade ‘Our Gang,‘ 1926.” Film History, vol. 15, no. 2,2003, pp. 177–92.Google Scholar
Vie Sun Down Limited. Directed by Robert F. McGowan, Hal Roach Studios, 1924.Google Scholar
T.W. Review of Your Own Back Yard, directed by Robert F. McGowan. Moving Picture World, vol. 76, no. 4, 26 Sept. 1925, p. 335.Google Scholar
Tompkins, Kyla Wazana. Racial Indigestion: Eating Bodies in the Nineteenth Century. New York UP, 2012.Google Scholar
Use Your Local Papers.” Exhibitor's Trade Review, 25 July 1925, p. 39.Google Scholar
Weaver, Heather A.Together but Unequal: Race and Education in Our Gang.” Journal of American Culture, vol. 34, no. 4, Dec. 2011, pp. 332–45.Google Scholar
Wells, Paul. Understanding Animation. Routledge, 1998.Google Scholar
Wlegman, Robyn. American Anatomies: Vieorizing Race and Gender. Duke UP, 1995.Google Scholar
Winship, Mary. “Our Gang: All about Them—Including Farina.” Photoplay, vol. 25, no. 4, Mar. 1924, pp. 40+.Google Scholar
Young Sherlocks. Directed by Robert F. McGowan and Tom McNamara, Hal Roach Studios, 1922.Google Scholar
Youthful Futurists.” Picture Play Magazine, vol. 29, no. 3, Nov. 1928, p. 101.Google Scholar