The complex racial history of the Little Rascals

If you only know the squeaky clean story of the Little Rascals, check in with Dr. Julia Lee.
From left to right: Mary Ann Jackson, Matthew "Stymie" Beard, Sonny "Farina" Hoskins, Norman "Chubby" Chaney, Bobby "Wheezer" Hutchins, Pete The Dog.

For generations of kids and nostalgic adults, The Little Rascals are little more than a group of black and white kids who get up to adorable shenanigans. 

But Dr. Julia Lee, a longtime fan of the show, decided to take a closer look.

The image of interracial friendship, especially in Jim Crow era America, stood out in a largely segregated television landscape. She joins Shad to discuss some of the complexities that turned up, as chronicled in her new book Our Gang: A Racial History of The Little Rascals

WEB EXTRA | Want a feel for the original series? Watch a selection below. 

An original theatrical poster for the Our Gang comedy Baby Brother, wherein a black baby is painted with white shoe polish so that a lonely rich boy will buy him as a brother. (1927 Our Gang film Baby Brother/Hal Roach/Pathe)


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