Good Humor Chooses Black Nationalism Over Racism (Wait, What?)

This was a 2nd portion of another post, but with the latest news regarding the well-known ice-cream truck JINGLE being rewritten — I have to break off that smaller portion and expand on it. So let’s deal with the origins of the song first, and then work towards the newer issues as I see them.

ORIGINAL POST

The song “Turkey In The Straw” came out in the late 1820’s to early 1830’s. The first part of the song is a contrafactum of the ballad “My Grandmother Lived on Yonder Little Green”, aka “My Grandma Lived on Yonder Little Green”, aka “My Grandma’s Advice”, published in 1857 by Horace Waters, 333 Broadway, New York, which itself is a contrafactum of the Irish ballad “The Old Rose Tree”.(WIKI) The original song was just a favorite tune of fiddle players, it was only started to be used in mistral shows in the early 1900’s. A Democrat changed the song to a racist tune in 1916. I say Democrat because Harry C. Browne had a brief career campaigning for the Democratic Party. In fact, William Jennings Bryan, then the Secretary of State, offered Browne a diplomatic position in February 1914, Brown later declined.(WIKI) As the old saying goes, anything the Left touches it ruins.

Harry C. Browne was born in 1878 in North Adams, Massachusetts. Before his acting career, he served in the Second Massachusetts U.S. Volunteers during the Spanish–American War and had a brief career campaigning for the Democratic Party. In fact, William Jennings Bryan, then the Secretary of State, offered Browne a diplomatic position in February 1914 but the latter declined. Browne later worked for a stock company as an actor, casting him in plays such as Arizona and Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm in the early 1900s.

A skilled banjo player, Browne performed in vaudeville for seven years before recording a series of songs for Columbia Records, starting in 1916. His first record, perhaps his most well-known, is a re-interpretation of the American folk song “Turkey in the Straw”. Released in March 1916, Browne appropriated the standard as a coon song re-titled “Nigger Love a Watermelon Ha! Ha! Ha!”. It is commonly referred to as one of the most racist songs in American music: the song relied heavily on the watermelon stereotype, a belief popularized in the 19th century that African-Americans had an unusual appetite for watermelons. For the B-side, Browne chose to record the minstrel show favorite “Old Dan Tucker”, marking the tune’s first commercial appearance on a major label.

Between 1906 and 1925, Browne appeared in at least 14 Broadway shows, including Oh, Lady! Lady!!. His film debut is believed to have been in August 1914 with the release of The Eagle’s Mate. During his acting career, Browne had roles in notable films such as The Unwelcome Mrs. Hatch, The Heart of Jennifer, and Closed Doors. Afterwards, he worked as an announcer and production director for CBS radio, a position he resigned from in 1931.

(WIKI)

PART TWO


Enter, Good Humor

Ice-Cream & RZA


Enter RZA (via GOOD HUMOR) from Wu-Tang Clan. Here is RZA explaining the issue:

Here is a bit more THE NEW YORK POST:

Get ready to scream for ice cream — with a brand-new song.

RZA, of the Wu-Tang Clan, has partnered with Good Humor to write a cheerful new ice cream truck jingle in place of “Turkey in the Straw” — an earworm with a troubled history long criticized for being racist.

“Remember that ice cream jingle?” the rap legend, 51, said while introducing his new song. “Of course — we all know it. I’m not gonna play it right now because we come to find out that it has racist roots.

“But check this out — Good Humor, they called me up and they was like, ‘We gotta do something about this, Riz. We can change the dynamics. We can make a new ice cream jingle for a new era,’ ” the rapper added…..

(See also FOX NEWS‘ story) But I have been writing about this issue for a long time, and, I can confidently say this was a horrible mistake by Good Humor. My first post dealt with the racist emblem Jay-Z wore to an NBA game.

So a small blurb that is a good one-paragraph read on who the founder of the Five-Percenters (the Nation of Gods and Earths):

  • As a member of the Nation of Islam, Clarence 13X was an avid student of Malcolm X and NOI literature and lessons. He also became a member of the Fruit of Islam. In 1963, Clarence 13X began teaching his NOI students that the Black man (collectively) was the “Original Man” and “God,” and he “rejected” the Nation of Islam’s doctrine that its light-skinned founder, Wallace Fard Muhammad, was Allah. Between 1963–1964 Clarence 13X left the Nation of Islam, renamed himself Allah, and founded what is known as the Five-Percent Nation or Nation of Gods and Earths. Five Percenters called him “The Father” because “many of them were the products of broken homes and this was the only father they knew.” Thus, Clarence 13 also became known as Allah the Father or Father Allah. (WIKI)

ENCYCLOPEDIA BRITANNICA also adds to the understanding a bit:

….Clarence expanded or altered many of the original views of the Nation of Islam in developing the doctrine of the Five Percent Nation. He taught that the doctrine of God as black meant that all black men are God, or Allah. The movement derived its name from a second doctrine that separates all people into three categories. Most people, 85 percent of humanity, were believed to be ignorant of God’s true identity and thus to be unknowingly working to destroy themselves and others, being misled by the 10 percent of humanity who possess knowledge and power but who falsely teach that God is an invisible supernatural entity. Only 5 percent of humanity is made up of righteous people who understand the truth—that the living God is the black man who teaches freedom and justice to black communities.

Clarence also referred to his movement as the Nation of Gods and Earths, a name based on his belief that black men are Gods and black women are queens, or Earths. Within the movement itself, only new members refer to themselves as Five Percenters. Once a black man has realized his own divine nature, he becomes Allah, a God, and a black woman becomes an Earth. Within Clarence’s ideology, men can obtain the divine perfection of the number 7, while women can only rise to the number 6. Therefore, only women in the Five Percent Nation consider themselves Muslims and follow Allah; the men are Allah incarnate…..

This is a good short explanation of the main “gist” of culture and the Five-Percenters as well:

Born Justice Allah, who became a part of the Five Percent Nation when he was 15, explains some of the basic concepts of the Five Percent Nation and questions Jay Z’s affiliation.


A CHRISTIAN PERSPECTIVE


In this broadcast of Giving An Answer, H.C. Felder interviews Stacey Jacobs who talks about the origins and beliefs of The Five Percent Nation and how they differ from Christianity.