I am getting caught up on my DVR and watching last week’s episode of Pan Am. A little background on the show. It follows a fictional group of crew who work on a plane for Pan Am during the golden age of air travel in the 1960’s. It focuses mainly on the stewardess’. This episode follows a group of sailors on a pro bono flight returning home after a tour of duty on a submarine. One of the sailors name is Joe, he is African American. During the flight Joe and one of the stewardess’, Laura, get close and become friends. Laura is a sheltered young woman who ran out on her wedding, and has an overbearing mother. There was a party in her apartment, she is staying with one of the more progressive co workers, look up the term beatnik. Anyway, Joe is staying overnight and the superintendent comes up in the morning to complain about the party, when Joe walks behind Laura. The super demands that Laura tosses him out and instead insists they go out for the day. Joe is to continue on to his home in Mississippi by train later that day. While walking thru the train station a man stares in a very hateful manner at Joe and Laura. I realize I have failed to mention that Laura is the epitome of our discussion last week. She is a flawless blonde haired beauty. When Joe leaves Laura for a moment, the man comes to Laura, hits on her and is rejected. When Joe returns the rejected man makes his dislike for Joe is obvious. Laura takes Joe’s hand and the man and his friends beat up Joe. While there was a cut away in the scene, I think this is probably the closest description to what happened during the 60’s that most of today’s generation would have been exposed to. Most of the good movies about racism were produced in the 80’s and 90’s. It’s hard to put what we read in textbooks into a frame of mind when you can’t visualize. Movies and shows like this that still show that society struggles with racism and gives a canvas to show that yes, we still struggle with this and this was what our parents and grandparents lived thru.
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