Thursday, August 23, 2012

Y'all should know:

Henry Walthall, who plays this dick in Birth of a Nation:

made his living pre-Hollywood by capturing and selling black prisoners in the Neoslavery peonage system. He also moonlighted as a theater teacher!

Sometimes it's important to remember that the Original Sin of cinema was really, really racist.

Ironically Walthall also shows up in Griffith's Abraham Lincoln, the last of his "apology" films for BoaN. He's also the priest in the wonderful The Sin of Nora Moran, which I'm trying not to let ruin the movie, and the bad guy in Ride Him Cowboy, John Wayne's best B-movie. So if you want to see a crazy war-hawk right winger who despite his reputation probably wasn't a racist kill one who definitely was, that's your movie.

Walthall's standard biography sort of overlooks the part of his life spent kidnapping innocent, disenfranchised black Americans into slavery through a blackmailing juggernaut prison-for-profit system that fed into the nauseatingly dangerous and unsanitary coal mines that stripped and poisoned Alabama.

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