70 years ago today - Oct 24, 1952

[J. Reuben Clark]
President Clark called Emily Bennett about the call he had just had with Mrs. Manning [of Ogden]; he said that Mrs. Manning had said they were told not to represent negroes on the stage because Pres. Clark said they should not; that he said to her, that he had no recollection of ever having said such a thing, and he had never thought of such a thing ...

President Clark said that he asked Mrs. Manning if they were making fun of the negro, and said he thought they ought [not] to do that, and repeated his attitude toward the intermarriage of races, that he does not like to see things that breaks down the color line ... He repeated he did not think they should make fun of them. He said that he had a deep sympathy for the negroes, but that did not mean he would want one of his children to marry one, and he did not want them to dance with them, and he did not approve of the breaking down of the color line because anything that breaks down the color line leads to marriage.

Sister Bennett said they would tell their people that they have no objection to having colored people portrayed if they are not belittled in any way or made fun of.

President Clark said that he was only telling her what his view was, that he could not speak for the Church or the First Presidency, but since he was tied up to the matter he wanted to try to correct the wrong impression, and repeated that he was not against the portraying of the negro but he did not want him made fun of, which, of course, does not mean that they might not have a character which was humorous or comic, and stated that the Amos and Andy shows were examples of that.

Sister Bennett said that the road show at which Sister Longden recently had taken a negro woman high up in some recreation organization had portrayed a negro as a dirty, indolent tramp and they had been quite embarrassed. Pres. Clark said there again there would have to be the question of just what was intended to be portrayed, that they have dirty, indolent tramps who are whites, and we make fun of white people; but what they would have to watch was anything that would degrade them or wound them.

[The Diaries of J. Reuben Clark, 1933-1961, Abridged, Digital Edition, Salt Lake City, Utah 2015]

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