[quote="havana1, post:7, topic:267189"]
Is this it? Looks like something I'm probably going to check out. Thanks for mentioning it. :)
Yes, this is it.
I remember when it came out. Martin Luther King had been assassinated in 1968, and the race riots had taken place during that summer, so there were a lot of uncomfortable feelings in the country between blacks and whites.
I think that JT helped many children like me to appreciate black people instead of being suspicious of them.
I remember that my mother really liked this movie. She grew up in the rural south, and since her family was "poor white trash," they picked cotton alongside of black people. So she didn't have the discomfort with black people that a lot of white people had back then.
And she loved cats, so this movie really touched her. It was just so unexpected--the idea of a boy taking care of a kitten was and still is a little unnerving. We're all used to little boys and puppy dogs, not kitty cats.
Also, the idea of a black boy taking care of a kitten--that was really unexpected. We expected black boys to take care of mean dogs, not helpless kittens!
You see, the movie pointed out how many of our ideas about others were just incorrect stereotypes.
The movie also took those of us who were middle-class white into the homes of ghetto families. Nowadays, in 2011, we all take this for granted because there have been so many shows about black families living in the ghetto. Even Saturday Night Live featured "Mr. Robinson's Neighborhood." And Sesame Street takes place in an urban setting.
But back then, a show about a child in the ghetto was entirely new, and very eye-opening to little white boys and girls who had never been near a ghetto, or had never been around black families.
I wish it would be shown again on TV, perhaps bringing the actors in the cast together (those who are still alive) and letting them discuss what it meant to them to be in this rather ground-breaking children's movie. I think it would really help dispell some of the racism that is still hanging around in this country.
Prepare to cry!