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Old 03-20-2009, 01:02 PM   #1
Chachi'88
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Default racism in Happy Day

I wanted to discuss with you a little about how it is addressing the issue of racism in Happy Day, to you as you think?

I could not help but notice some things about the racism at the early'50-'60

There are some episodes where we talk about racism but I have noticed one thing in the series.

in the early seasons are all white and if there is a person of color then the episode is about racism.

but if you're careful, very careful, from the 6th season on notice that in the scene where many people appear (eg Arnold's) happen to see people of color.

an example, in the first season in the class of Richie and co. are all white.

un'episodio but in the 6th season in Richie's class at least one student of color.

even in recent seasons, we see that racism is now much diminished, to be noted that, for example, Chachi is not racist (one of his best friends, Tommy, which appears in some scenes on the season 8-11. is color)

probably because the first 5 seasons are set between the'55-'59 while the last of the'59-'65, in the'60s now racism had decreased compared to the'50s.

if you are careful, the wedding of Joanie and Chachi are all white except for one, Tommy

I have noticed this, for you is a right?
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:27 PM   #2
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Yes, I've noticed and they pretty much handled it with reality. Back then it was "rare" to have more than one or two students in a class with whites. As the 60s progressed, it was more and more common to have more included (thankfully).

It was the same in hollywood in general. Roles for blacks were mainly either as housekeepers, maids, butlers, or musicians. Slowly, they were put in more and more leading roles (Sidney Portier for example).

Talk about a turnaround. Whenever I see classrooms on the news now (locally), the majority of students are of colour and whites are in the minority.

What is it like in Italy - is it the same way as here in North America?
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Old 03-20-2009, 01:53 PM   #3
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If you remember the episode with Sticks the drummer, the gang took on the racism factor head on. Especially with Fonzie and Ritchie. I also saw a black in the audience in Fonzie's baptism. So it sounds like they tried to break the barrier but it was the 70's and there probably was still plenty of racism. not that there is none now but political correctness hasn't helped in my humble opinion.
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:27 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TripperFan
What is it like in Italy - is it the same way as here in North America?
I assume that is in but America there are definitely, infinitely more men of color.
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:50 PM   #5
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Quote:
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I assume that is in but America there are definitely, infinitely more men of color.
I thought that was the case. Oddly, there don't seem to be that many of colour who immigrate to Italy.
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayne
If you remember the episode with Sticks the drummer, the gang took on the racism factor head on. Especially with Fonzie and Ritchie. I also saw a black in the audience in Fonzie's baptism. So it sounds like they tried to break the barrier but it was the 70's and there probably was still plenty of racism. not that there is none now but political correctness hasn't helped in my humble opinion.
Yah, I was going to mention that ep with Sticks at the country club. I could really relate because the drummer in my brother's band at the time was black. Like Ritchie and Fonzie we thought nothing of it and would have fought for him if there had ever been a racist "banning" of him anywhere.

I noticed how they made the two most respected characters on the show (Ritchie and Fonz) to be the ones who weren't the least bit predudice. It was good because it showed kids that it was actually "cool" NOT to be bigoted.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:05 PM   #7
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There's another episode that focused on racism, 'Southern Crossing' in Season 9. Fonzie and Al travel to the southern U.S. to participate in the civil rights protest. The restaurants down there at the time were segragated by race. I actually liked this episode better than the earlier racism episode in Season 3.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:30 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi Dawn
There's another episode that focused on racism, 'Southern Crossing' in Season 9. Fonzie and Al travel to the southern U.S. to participate in the civil rights protest. The restaurants down there at the time were segragated by race. I actually liked this episode better than the earlier racism episode in Season 3.
even that is a beautiful episode.

you know I would like to deepen the friend of color of Chachi, Tommy
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:16 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi Dawn
There's another episode that focused on racism, 'Southern Crossing' in Season 9. Fonzie and Al travel to the southern U.S. to participate in the civil rights protest. The restaurants down there at the time were segragated by race. I actually liked this episode better than the earlier racism episode in Season 3.
there was also an episode in the first season that was focused on racism - #14- The Best Man, Howard invites his old army buddy Fred Washington to get married in the Cunninghams' home and the neighbors are not too happy when they find out that it is an African-American couple .
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:29 PM   #10
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there have also been a few black characters on the show where they didn't make a big deal about it - but they weren't really big characters:

- one of the contestants in the Howdy Doody episode was a black kid (Howdy Doody says "wow, he's a dead ringer")

- in Spunky Come Home , it is a black kid named Wilbur that finds and tries to keep Fonzie's dog

- in Fonzie for the Defence, Fonzie is on the jury for a trial where a black guy is accused of stealing a woman's purse, there is an element of racism in this episode, some of the jury members assume that the defendant is guilty just be cause he is black, but Fonzie proves them wrong.

- in #184 - Tall Story Fonzie tries to talk a man into letting his son with epilepsy play on the basketball team, they were far too busy with the epilepsy message to worry that John was black
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Old 03-21-2009, 02:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robyrob

- in Spunky Come Home , it is a black kid named Wilbur that finds and tries to keep Fonzie's dog

- in Fonzie for the Defence, Fonzie is on the jury for a trial where a black guy is accused of stealing a woman's purse, there is an element of racism in this episode, some of the jury members assume that the defendant is guilty just be cause he is black, but Fonzie proves them wrong.

- in #184 - Tall Story Fonzie tries to talk a man into letting his son with epilepsy play on the basketball team, they were far too busy with the epilepsy message to worry that John was black
I recalled them both, i love Tall Story.

Spunky Come Home not remember the character of color but now you have reminded me, thanks
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Old 03-23-2013, 03:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robyrob
there was also an episode in the first season that was focused on racism - #14- The Best Man, Howard invites his old army buddy Fred Washington to get married in the Cunninghams' home and the neighbors are not too happy when they find out that it is an African-American couple .
I alwas thought that was ironic. In the "Love American Style" pilot, Howard is shocked when he finds "a colored man" in his living room. The writers probably forgot all about that bit.
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Old 03-23-2013, 10:52 AM   #13
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I always liked what Fonzie said in the episode where Howard's black army buddy was getting married, "I'll take a cool black guy over an uncool white guy. And vice versa, if you get my drift."

I liked the message - it's not about a person's color, it's about who they are inside.
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Old 04-26-2013, 12:02 AM   #14
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Besides the fact that both real world (70's) and show setting (50's) were still pretty racist, it's also set in a city LONG known for (VERY sadly) being very segregated.

Also you have to consider the demographic this show was aimed at (nostalgic white families missing their :good old days"), etc.
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