The Omaha guide. (Omaha, Neb.) 1927-19??, August 31, 1935, Page SIX, Image 6

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    Actors Talk About
Will Rogers
Those Who Knew Him Well Pay
Los Angeles, Cal., Aug. 28 (ByJ
Jacob Anderson for ANP)—The
sudden death in an airplane acci
dent in Alaska of Will Rogers,
famed humorist and screen cele
brity and of Wiley Post, the dar
ing aviator, brought sorrow to
many here. Expressions of sad
ness were universal among those
of soloc who actually knew the
For Wiley Post, the feeling of
regret was that which humanity
always reels when a glamourous
viviu figure is snuffed out. For
Rogeis it was diiferent. It is
amazing to witness the universali
ty of compassionate grief from
folk in ail walks of lite. f ollow
ers of his column among people
of color must have been legion, in
ail prooaoiuty he interpreted and
expressed those feelings which
we hold when we think of our
selves as Americans, just as he
represented the thinking- of the
average white man or woman.
Probably the closest contact
whicn Negroes had with Will Ro
geis was in the movie field. Sev
eral of the colored stars had
worked with him an in every in
stance their memory of him
brought forth appreciative testi
Clarence Muse was enthusias
tic as he spoke. Muse said:
Will Rogers ,an interpreter of
life in ail its phases—misunder
stood by some Americans, belov
ed l>y all. Because of his death the
world is sorry and 1 believe my
group is hurt mor.e than the rest.
- * * i '
They misunderstood him. That is
why he .is still a living spirit of
. * ' 1 • ’ *. i >} m \ ' i - . .
Christ to me. Muse who had just
• *• • • .%i : r « r } \
returned from a memorial service
for the cowboy actor which had
been broadcast from coast . to
coast over a nation wide.Colum
bia hook-up and "ph which he had
sung “Swing Dow Sweet Chari
ot told' several, ultimate stories
■ '- * \\l ' . ’ .....
'about Rogers.
*■* . * ^ i
First he recalled the friendship
of the dead actor for Dr. R. R.
Moton and for Tuskegee insti
tute. Several years ago while sub
stituting for his friend Fred
Stone of “Three CheersM who
had been hurt, Will Rogers visit
ed Tuskegee. In the afternoon he
attended the annual Tuskegee—
Montgomery State football game
and the following day he devoted
his daily column to a tribute to
the ability and sportsmanship of
colored college football players
an dbo Tuskegee Institute. When
ho performed in Tuskegee chapel
that night he began a friendship*
with Dr. Moton which lasted
through the years and made a
substantial donation to the school.
A few weeks ago Muse said
that he served as master of cere
monies at the Second Baptist
church in Los Angeles. Will Ro
gers had accepted an invitation to
be the principal speaker of the
occasion. The affair was to raise
money for the church. White
Baptists were interested and 300
whites attended from a church in
Glendale. Only 40 or 50 members
of the colored Second Baptist
were on hand, whether fvom lack
of interest or resentment lie did
not know.
Rogers who had brought his
wife with him seemed delighted
to be present. There still lingered
on his mind, however, the unhap
py radio incident which had in
censed colored people the world
over. Rogers voluntarily brought
the subject up expressing his
deep regret and explaining w-hat
had happened.
He was discussing music and
deploring the habit of writers
who distorted spiritulas concert
ing them into jazz. Particularly
he spoke of “The Last Roundup”
which he said he had heard long
before it was published as an old
“nigger spiritual”. He meant no
harm and was 'sorry. Muse re
counted another story about Ro
gers who he said never tired of
admitting that a Negro cowboy
had taught him all the tricks he
knew in roping and lassoing, the
arts which started him on the
road to fame- This colored man
worked for Rogers who is said
to have supported him. and his
wife on Rogers’ Oklahoma ranch
until they died.
Louise Beavers
Louise Beavers had played in
pictures with Rogers. The last one
she said was 1 ‘ Too Busy to i
| Work” in 1932.
“He was a most interesting
man to work with”, said Miss;
I Beavers. “He was pliable and
congenial. My contact with him
was not particularly personal be
ing confined to the casual conver- j
fsation, which always develops on
! the lots, but I grew to admire his |
personality and his great ability.:
At its close he told me he had en- j
joyed working with me. The
world has lost a great character
and a great man.
Etta Moten
“I only had a glimpse of Will
Rogers”, said Etta Moten.
“When Bill ‘Bojangles’ Robin
son gave his famous party to some
hundreds of guests out on the Fox
lot last spring, one of the prin
ciple speakers was Will Rogers.
As he paid a tribute to Mr. Robin
son he praised the success which
Bill had won in Hollywood and
remarked with delightful humor
that although Bill and Step-in
Fetchit had stolen the show from
him whenever he appeared with
them, he had no hard feelings and
wished them continued triumphs.
He lauded BeVt Williams as one
of the greatest actors he had ever
known. Mentioning his love for
N'egro spirituals prompted me to
sing “That City Called Heaven”
that night and in describing it be
fore 1 sang 1 dedicated it to Mr
kogers who expressed his appre
Step-in Fetchit
j Probably the closest actor of‘
color to Will Rogers was Step-in!
jc etchit.
They appeared in numerous
pictures together and the sincere
ooiid of friendship which some
give Rogers credit for helping
Step-in Fetchit back in pictures.
'I d like to give you my version
| of what Will Rogers would have
written in his daily, column if he!
had been describing his own!
death” said Step-in Fetchit when
'•mi • " *
asked for an expression, on his;
friends death. Step-in, a humorist
reported as follows: .
himself, said Rogers would have!
“Will Rogers, everybody’s
buddy and Wiley Post are dead.
The world’s greatest aviator,
Wiley Post and the pride of
Claremont, Okla., Will Rogers,
chose the ice-lands of Alaska as
the coolest way of announcing to
a hot world its saddest news in j
‘Ethiopia and Italy you can dis
band your armies and the great
now call back your troops. Dis-:
world wa rstory which is being
prepared for early production
can be put on the back shelf, be- j
j eatfse without Will Rogers’ treat-'
ment on the dialogue, the war
| would surely have been a flop.
| Signed- Will Rogers.
‘‘Rut it was good Mr. Rogers,
to have been your man, ‘Friday’,
Step-in Fetchit.
And then Clarence Muse closed
the interviews- ‘‘We as a people;
should learn to be more tolerant
and to get the facts. Will Rogers
in that memorable incident was
defending us. We should be less
quick to use the hatchet on
‘‘those who have been our
j friends”, said Muse.
Notice, Subscribers: If you don’t
get your paper by Saturday, 2 p. m.,
call Webster 1750. No reduction in
subscriptions unless request is com
plied with.
Mothers—Let your boys be Guide
newsboys. Send them to the Omaha
Guide Office, 2418-20 Grant Street.
Inauguration of
Tuskegee President
Set For October 28
■ New York City ,Aug. 28, ANF)
j—Announcement was made here
I this week by Col. William Jay
I Schietffelin, chairman of the
Board of Trustees of Tuskegee
Institute, that the inauguration
| of Dr. Frederick Douglas Pat
terson, as president of that insti
tution would be held at Tuske
gee, October 28.
Speakers of national repute, in
cluding the heads of various
leivie, business, and welfare or
ganizations, presidents of some
of the larger colleges and univer
sities and the Board of Educa
tion, have been invited to be on
; the program at this momentous
j occasion, which means the be
i ginning of the third administra
tion ajt Tuskegee Institute
Imes M afc Take
C. C. C. Job
Washington, August 31—(By
ANP) Dr. G. Lake lines may be
come an official of the Civilian
Conservation Corps it was learn
ed here this week, reports having
it that he had been offered a post
as chief chaplain and contact man
for the colored enrollees. It is un
derstood that a number of color
ed chaplains may be selected and
that in addition to supervising
their activities, Dr. Imes will
serve as a liason between enroll
ees and citizens in various towns
near which camps are located. Dr.
lines retired recently as secretary
of Tuskegee Institute.
Editor Named Member
of Bond Committee
St Louis, Aug. 31 (By AXP) —
J. T. Mitchell, editor of the St.
Louis Argus and an active figure
in the life of the city here, has
been named a member of the com
mittee formed recently to aid in
putting over a ten million dollar
bond issue. The federal govern
ment has promised to extend a;
grant of thirty million dollars for
the construction of the Jefferson
National Expansion Memorial
providing St. Louis provides* ten
million dollars.
Notice, Subscribers: If you don’t
get your paper by Saturday, 2 p. m..
call Webster 1750. No reduction in
subscriptions unless request is com
plied with.
Noted Historian Re
views “Black Re
By Rayford W. Logan, A. B... A. M.
Professor of History, Atlanta Uni
i __
Black Reconstruction in America.
By W. E. Burghardt DuBois. New
York: Harcourt, Brace and Com
pany. 746 pp. *4,50.
Those who have known Dr. DuBois
only as the bitterly sarcastic or the
coldly furious critic of "white oppres
sors of the darker races must na
turally wonder whether he could
write a history of the mlost contro
versial period of his race’s strug
gles in America. One should remem
ber, however, that the former mili
tant editor of the Crisis was also a
student under -some of America’s
most famous historians at Harvard,
that his book The Suppression of the
African Slave Trade is number one
in the famous Harvard Historical
Series. A grant from the Trustees
of the Rosenwald Fund permitted
him dining two years to use this
training and his ripe scholarship in
personal and supervised investiga
tion of material for this study.
Elack Reconstruction reveals Dr.
DuBois as both the merciless critic
and the constructive historian. In the
last chapter, “The Propaganda of
History”, he has penned some of the
most stinging castigations of Ameri
| can historians s’nce the controversy
| over the war guilt of Germjany. Thus
he says, “Burgess was a slaveholder,
Dunning a Copperhead and Rhodes
an exploiter of labor ” A readng of
this chapter f.rst will give a clue to
the task that the historian has set
for himself.
That task is to rehabilitate the Ne
gro at the bar of h'story. Now, there
are two kinds of rehabilitation. The
one disregards the record denies all
adverse criticism, and accepts all
favorable comments. The other meth
od seeks merely to give as much em
phasis to the contributions as to the
mistakes. Dr. DuBois, then, adc'ts
most of the short shortcomings at
tributed to the Negroes in the Re
construction conventions and legisla
tures, but he also reminds hs read
ers that these same Negi'oes helped
to gve the South ts f.rst system of
public schools for both black, and
w'hite children.
But other authors have done this,
although not so elequently and not
always so brilliantly Black Re
constrlcticn. The real value of this
epoch-making book lies elsewhere.
This, I believe; is the first, one
understands that America lost dur
ing. Reconstruction her golden op
portunity to found a polit'cal .and in
dustrial democracy. Instead, as Dr.
DuBois sees it: “There began to rise
in America in 1876 a new capitalism
and a new enslavement of labor.
Home labor in cultured lands, ap
peased and misled by a ballot whose
power the dictatorship of vast caui
tal strictly curbed, was bribed by
high wage and political office vO
unte in an exploitation of white,
yellow* brown and black labor, in
lesser lands and ‘breeds wdthout the
law.’ Sons of d'tch-diggers aspired
to be spawn of bastard kings and
thieving aristocrats rather than of
rough-handed children of dirt and
toil.” In 1918, he continues, -““The
fantastic structure fell, leaving gro
i tesque Profits and Poverty, Plenty
] and Starvation, Empire and Demo
j cracy, staring at each other across
World Depression. And the rebui'ck
ing, whether it comes now or a cen
tury later, will and must go back to
the basic principles of Reconstruc- j
tion in the United States during 1867 j
1876—Land, Light and Leading for
slaves, black, brown, yellow and j
white, under a dictatorship of the
Whether one agrees or not with
this interpretation and this prophe
cy, he will have to that Dr. {
DuBois has written a book that will
necessitate further reply from the
advocates of white supremacy and
the maintenance of capitalism—if
they have the courage to read Black
Reconstruction. At all events, this :
magnum opus of the cost distin- j
guished of Negro scholars again
thrown open to discuss.on, and to !
fiery debate, What was cons‘dered
a closed chapter.
By Special permission, The Chris
tian Register, 75 Beacon Street Bos
ton, Mass„ for NNF.
Mothers—Let your boys be Guide
newsboys. Send them to the Omaha
Guide Office, 2418-20* Grant Street.
Jews In Germany
Have Nothing On
Negroes In Miss.
Jackson, Miss., Aug. 31—By
ANP)—In the heated and almost
unbelievably ridiculous guberna
torial primary run-off campaign
concluded in this state Tuesday,
the public was informed of an
amazing set of “crimes” of which
the Negro in the state may be
guilty, or his friends.
The two candidates were Hugh
White, millionaire lumberman,
and Paul B. Johnson, a former
judge. They opposed each other
in the Democratic run-off.
The two issues in the campaign
were Huey Long, Senator from
Louisiana, and the Negro. These
two issues became merged into
one: “Don’t let the Negro get out
of his ‘pLaceV’
Almost daily reports reach this
I country of new crimes, possible
of commitment by Jews, which j
Nazi government in Germany has
defined. Tre outside world, in
! eluding the United States and
Mississippi, is horrified.
There isn’t an upright Negro
I in Mississippi who wouldn’t swap
places with a Berlin |Jew and pay
him a bonus- There isn’t a Jew in
German who, having agreed to
come to Mississippi and live as a
Negro, could be compelled to
keep the bargain.
In the campaign just ended,
Hugh White accused Huey Long
and Paul Johnson of angling for
the Negro vote. Paul Johnson
charged that Hugh White was
seeking the Negro vote. Both men
impressed their audience that it
was criminal for a white (Aryan) j
man in Mississippi to encourage
a Negro (Jey) to exercise his
franchise as an American citizen.
Both men charged it was criminal
for a Negro to think of voting in
a “white” Democratic primary.
Both men implied that it was
criminal for a colored American
citizen in Mississippi to have any
interest whatever in the person
elected as governor of the state.
iHugh White charged that a
colored man had heckled him
at Tupelo, and that it had been
! difficult to hold the mob off this
colored man. White gave the fol
lowing description of this “heckl
“Saturday night I.spoke to an
audience over in Tupelo that
numbered nearly 5,000 persons.
\\ hile I was making my talk
someone shouted from a car in a
nearby street. He said, ‘Yes, you
are a millionaire.’ Later he said, I
‘Hurrah for Mr. Johnson and for
Huey Long/
Some of our friends were stand
ing nearby and went over to see
who was heckling me- Who do
you think it was? It was a big
buck Negro. Trouble was averted,
but the Negro was warned. He
kept his mouth shut."
Thus, in Mississippi, a Negro
runs the risk of mob violence if
he calls a white man a millionaire
or if he cheers either Huey Long
t or Paul Johnson. A Jew in Ger
many might call a German a mil
lionaire or cheer for Hitler with
out danger of bodily harm.
Notice, Subscribers: If you don’t!
get your paper by Saturday, 2 p. m., j
call Webster 1750. No reduction in
subscriptions unless request is com
plied with.
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