Their Eyes Were Watching Movies


In 1928 Zora Neale Hurston, a novelist and anthropologist with a strong libertarian streak, shot 15 reels of film in southern black communities. The original plan was to turn the footage into a full-fledged documentary; that never happened, but some of the film survived, and now you can see it on YouTube. It's a great historical artifact, especially but not only for Hurston fans:

[Via Liberty & Power.]

NEXT: Paul Ryan vs. Medicare

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  1. The breakdancing kid is awesome.

    1. And at one point he said "hey yo, put this shit on youtube, it'll get mad hits."

      I swear, I read his lips.

      1. Reminds me of teh breakdancing commies vid


  2. I would recommend turning the volume OFF.

  3. The old due is apparently Cudjoe Lewis, who would have been about 88 in the video. I hope I'm as good with an axe when I'm that old.

    1. I'm with you on that. What he lacks in limber he made up for in accuracy. 3 swings landed in the same slot.

    2. Whoever he is, as old as he appears in 1928, that man was most likely at some point in his life a slave.

      1. Brought over on the last slave ship over from Africa, as it so happens. Read my link.

        1. Great link. That is amazing.

        2. But he wasn't ever a slave.

    3. His wallet, it's the one that says "Bad Mothefucker" on it.

      Nice catch and link.

    1. That's exactly backwards, you Nazi.

      1. Cosmo's brother?

        1. Jim's brother?

      2. I really don't know what you expect. Studied Sociology and Pegagogy, and then Law, before being handed the management of a multi-billion $ business like my dad gave me the keys to the old Ford. Deep-seated feelings of guilt and inferiority, which I'm sure are greatly deserved.

    2. First, fuck this guy with a pair of rusty scissors. I'd like to say this is surprising and that an entrepreneurial fellow like him would recognize that the government is not the solution to every problem. Then again, I assume you don't become a shipping magnate without gobbling a lot of government cock. I suspect all that state spunk has infected his brain and turned him into a zombie who lives only to serve his government overlords. In return, he gets endless suckles upon Leviathon's throbbing black cock of death.

      1. He's representative of the so-called 'free' market that has become institutionalized around the world. The kind of State Capitalism that conservatives regularly tout as what the Free Market should be, even though it's basically Corporatism in everything but name only.

        1. What conservative ever touted state capitalism as what capitalism should be? Seriously produce some links for that line of horseshit or shut the fuck up.

          1. Alright now John, take a deep breath. He only fucked your mother the once.

            1. Yeah but he is not even sorry for it.

          2. Dude,

            The Republicans are big fans of tarriffs to protect domestic industries such as steel and auto to name a few, and using government policy to force open export markets a la the import/export bank and setting quotas in trade agreements as was done by the Reagan administration.

            The Republicans are mercantilists. They've been mercantilists since they were formed out of the ashes of the Whig party. Yes, mercantilism is more free markety than the Democrat's brand of socialism-lite, but in the end it remains the economic philosophy that was bad enough that Adam Smith was moved to write The Wealth of Nations to attack/refute it.

            1. Tarren the Republicans have been free trade for 40 years. That is why Pat Buchanan left the Party. The Republicans and a few Democrats are what got NAFTA through.

              You can accuse the Republicans of a lot of things, but protectionism isn't one of them.

              You are retarded?

              1. With the exception of the mention of NAFTA (only partially a free trade agreement), you mention nothing in rebuttal.
                You are an ignoramous and an ass. No question mark needed.

                1. NAFTA, CAFTA. Bush pushed free trade trade his entire time in the Whitehouse. Calling the Republicans anti-free trade is like calling the Democrats anti-union.

                  And if all you can do is name call, you are amditting you have no argument and nothing to say. Your whole post is basically "with the exception of refuring the point, you offer nothing, but you are ignorant anyway because I don't like you or something like that"

                  The troll quality really goes down on the weekends.

                  1. Yes, we'll just ignore bush's tarrifs on Steel, his support for Agricultural subsidies, the sugar tarrif.

                    Hell, we'll just ignore his repeated attempts to nationalize the stock market under the Rubric of Social Security "Privatization".

                    We'll jsut squint real hard and pretend that the government controlling increasing sectors of the economy constitutes free trade.

                    You may not realize it, but George Bush had a nasty habit of lying, saying one thing "we shall liberate the people of Iraq" while actually doing the opposite.

                  2. Oh, so someone who doesn't agree with you is a "troll." I've got news for you John, this isn't your private blog. As for the name-calling and lack of substance, you might want to read back to yourself your first response to tarran.

                2. And why was NAFTA only partially free trade and not more? Because it had to get out of a Democratic controlled Senate. And NAFTA was a big deal. And so were the various rounds of GATT

                  Seriously, do you people even think or read what you say?

              2. You can accuse the Republicans of a lot of things, but protectionism isn't one of them.

                You are retarded?

                No, you are so there!

                Dude, if you don't think the republicans are protectionist, you are about as clueful as Chad. Seriously.

                The Republicans are mercantilists. Period. Back when the Democrats were believers in free markets, everybody recognized it. When the Democrats decided that socialism-lite was the way to go and abandoned support for free markets, the republicans didn't change. They stayed the course, and benefitted from the votes of everyone who liked free markets and thus were more horrified by the Democrats than the Republicans.

                From the Smoot Hawley Act to today, the Republcians have promoted managed trade agreements that benefit domestic industries at the expense of the consumer.

                You can scream "Democrats!" all you want. It ain't going to convert the Republicans into something they ain't.

                Imagien a woman has two wuitors. One, Alphonse, is famous for punching his girl in the eye if she displeases him. The other, Bob, just uses sarcasm and verbal tongue lashings to keep his girlfriends in line.

                It does not matter how bad a wife beater Alphonse is; it won't make Bob into a nice guy.

            2. He asked for a conservative and you sent him Republicans?!


              1. As I have pointed out several times before, and as matter of fact, republicans have been red from the start.

                1. That's right, the party of Lincoln has always been the party of the income tax, the progressive income tax, mercantilism, a national bank, protective tariffs, "internal improvements" and the managed economy.

                  All of the above formed what Henry Clay called the "american system". Lincoln worshipped Clay.

                  Isn't anybody familiar with the term "forty-eighters"?

    3. So what do we call an unrehabilitated German Fascist (like Peter Kr?mer)? Is 'Nazi' okay, or is there a jackboot and jhodpurs requirement for that?

  4. Only ze state can decide vhat is good for ze people! Not ze millionaires- zey are probably Jews!

    1. ^ That was a reply to GH. Damn threaded comments.

  5. This is some good stuff. Definently of incredible historical value.

    It's an amazing testament to the power of the human spirit that a people who were being treated as second class citizens, being regularly mistreated by a racial caste system institutionalized by Southern state governments, could still be able to smile, and laugh, and dance.

    Almost brings a tear to your eye.

    1. able to smile, and laugh, and dance


  6. Eatonville, just northwest of Orlando (and home to Hurston for many years) has a Zora! festival every year in January.

    1. BP, I wonder how many of the people promoting that festival have any idea what Zora's politics were like.

      I'm sure they all think she was a huge FDR supporting New Dealer who'd be Obama's number one fan today.

      It's also interesting how she was pretty much expelled (figuratively) from the black intelligentsia and a commentary on how left wing that group had become.

      She spent her last days as a maid in Fort Pierce and was buried in a pauper's grave in the black section of the town cemetery.

      There is apparently an intervies, though, wher she is asked something like, "isn't it demeaning to be a maid after all that Harlem Renaisance high society?"

      Her reply was something to the effect that she would sooner be a maid earning an honest living than trying to be something she wasn't kowtowing to a bunch of pretentious blowhards.

      1. I wonder how many of the people promoting that festival have any idea what Zora's politics were like.

        Damn few, I would think. The monolithic narrative of "progressive" black politics has been repeated so often, it's a mantra.

      1. jesus, every year too...

      2. That has to raise the collective IQ of all of the states near Illinois.

  7. To see a great t-shirt for Tea Party participants go to christiansrise.com.
    Front: I AM the Founding Father -GOD-
    Back: Christians Rise
    (Seriously, we really do!)
    Would be great for conservative rallies.

  8. Love those jams.

  9. My neighbor here in Nashville is around 80 years old, and white. He grew up poor in rural TN, on a farm with a dozen brothers and sisters. I've spend a lot of time chatting with him over the fence. Amazing stories. He grew up without running water, or electricity. He and his siblings worked long hours on their farm every day. They brought their guns to school so they could shoot squirrels on the way home, for food. One of his main messages though is that they were happy, despite the hardship. So much has changed in his lifetime. What he considers our most serious problem today? The weakening of kinship.

  10. In 1928 Zora Neale Hurston, a novelist and anthropologist with a strong libertarian streak,

    In 1928 they had name for people with strong libertarian streaks: Republicans

    1. And that was when the Negroes voted Republican.

      1. Really?

        It would be interesting to see who Blacks voted for before the civil rights act...well those who were actually allowed to vote that is.

        1. The majority of voting blacks cast their ballots for Republicans until the 1960s. The midpoint election, where the black vote was pretty much evenly split between Dems and Reps was...oh, I'm forgetting the exact year, but it was somewhere in the 1956-60 range.

          (P.S. Sorry GOP, but in 1928 I'd have to pick Smith over Hoover.)

          1. In the '28 election the slogan of Black Republicans stumping for Hoover;

            "Who ya gonna vote for?"

            "Hoover, WHO BUT Hoover?"

          2. IIANM, the biggest cause of blacks moving to the Democratic party was due less to the perception that the Democrats would do anything for blacks but the fact that the South was essentially a one party state, and that as more blacks got registered in the South it made sense to register Democratic because the Democratic Primary was, in most district, for all practical purposes the General Election.

            When I first moved to Florida in 1980 at least a third of Florida State House seats had no Republican candidate in the General election.

            I knew a guy who when he registered to vote in Orange County after he came back from WWII he was one of six Republicans registered there.

          3. I thought Smith was considered the beginning of progressive reform culminating in FDR's New Deal?

            I thought FDR's 36' election captured well over 50% of the black vote and Johnson's 64' election was another huge presidential shift for the black voting bloc. I'm not sure about the mid point in 62'

            1. I thought FDR's 36' election captured well over 50% of the black vote

              You're right; I mixed up two different moments in the changeover. I was thinking of the Edward Carmines/James Stimson argument that 1958 was the year that both major parties were equally disposed toward civil rights. The shift in black votes came earlier.

              In terms of this discussion, the most important year is probably 1948. That's when surveys of black party identification tipped decisively toward the Dems.

              1. P.S.: That said, 1964 the decisive turning point. 1960 was the last presidential election that was remotely competitive in terms of the black vote, with Nixon getting 32% of it. Eisenhower received about 40% four years earlier. With Goldwater the Republican total fell into single-digit territory.

        2. Up untill the 1964 CRA, Barry Goldwater had a much better voting record on Civil Rights issues than LBJ did.

          LBJ had led the filibuster agains the 1957 bill that Goldwater voted for.

          I'm pretty sure it was Goldwater's presedential campaign that end (figuratively, at least) the GOP as the party of blacks.

          1. Good ol Barry

            UFO's, Abombs, and article 2 pretty much killed the libertarian wing of the republican party and the black vote along with it for 2 generations at least.

            Is it possible to be a villain by stupidity rather then malice?

    2. Yeah, that Herbert Hoover was a real libertarian.

      1. Yeah, that Herbert Hoover was a real libertarian.

        No...but he was at the time serving in the commerce department under the Coolidge administration.

        1. I was being sarcastic, Josh.

          Hoover approached governing people the same way he approached running a mine. Every problem could be solve with the right kind of engineering and management.

          Turning HH into a conservative Republican has taken every bit of creative writing that GOP propagandists could muster.

  11. "And when they was no crawdads we ate sand"

    "Excuse me, did you say sand?"

    "Thas right. We ate sand."

  12. Yes!It is great ,thank them!!!

  13. Oh wow, what a great idea! Amazing


  14. Lousy editing and poor picture quality. Was this shot on like a first-generation iPhone or something?

    Also, the use of black-and-white is just soooooo pretentious.

    1. All joking aside, whoever did the telecine on that clip should be shot.

  15. God save the banjo from film makers.

  16. lurker is so humorous

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