Tuesday, August 12, 2014

75th Anniversary Gone with the Wind at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, Georgia

July 27th 2014
Atlanta, Georgia

Gone With the Wind was shown at the Fox theater for the 75th Anniversary of the movie's premiere. I was very pleased that the movie was shown and they even added a second show Saturday night the 26th.

For months leading up to the show at the Fox there were many wondering what was going on as there were very few showings happening across the country. I was concerned when a search of the internet showed almost nothing.

My concerns were well founded as under the current environment in the US. The movie itself was under scrutiny for it's depictions of the old south. I was told that because the movie 12 years a slave had come out it was being used by many as a response to Gone With the Wind.

So I decided to go to the Fox theater to discuss whether the movie was even going to be shown!

I was very please when I met with Shelly Klepsattel and she informed me about the movie and it being scheduled. She even pulled out historical documents on her ancestor who fought with the union. I left very pleased knowing it was going to be shown but was told to keep the announcement under cover.

Once the announcement was made I was able to get tickets.

Gone with the wind has special meaning to many people across the South and the world. For me personally  it meant a lot for many reasons. My GGgrandfather led the 3rd Ga regiment at Gettysburg. Being a native of Atlanta growing up there I had insight into the city and it's history. But the most important reason was my grandmother, Myrtis Corker Bullard. She had told me before she died that she was at the Debutante Ball held during the grand premier of the movie in Atlanta in 1939. She told me that she stood in line greeting the actors!
 Combined with the fact that it was her grandfather who fought the yankees and her memory to me, I held a special passion for the movie.

Paying my respects
 at Margaret Mitchel's grave in Oakwood cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia


Upon viewing the movie at the fox I took these couple of shots during the show. It really neat to see the movie on the big screen

From the beginning "A land of cavaliers"

Atlanta Railroad scene with the Confederate Battle Flag flying

Most in the audience where white women. Some older some younger. The men were about the same. A wonderful time was held by all!

After the show a good friend of mine Billy Bearden, dressed in uniform, held up a large Confederate Flag with me in front of the Fox in honor of the 75th.

Billy Bearden. 
Many people including children wanted their picture taken with a Confederate Solider!


Overall the 75th showing of GWTW was a big success. A lot has changed over the years and even a Scarlett look alike does not quite look the same. 

BTW the shock value is not quite what it used to be for this gentleman. I do believe enjoyed seeing the movie. (Sat right in front of us during the movie) 

The commentary from the press in Atlanta, specifically the Atlanta Journal Constitution is always negative about the Movie. This is to be expected.

A reporter named Erine Suggs of the AJC was given the platform for the official statement regarding gone with the wind from the Occupied Atlanta viewpoint. His article.....

This Atlanta writer is “Done With The Wind”

In this article Mr. Suggs stated how he saw 12 years a slave as a response to GWTW. A response to his article one man wrote "You'd rather be "cleansed" by a movie about a free black man going around murdering white men."

Mr. Suggs should know that my ancestor, Captain Corker of the 3rd Ga, owned slaves. They were well treated.
 From a letter written by a friend to his wife July 28th 1862
 "All send love Black and White to you both and Many kisses to dear little Palmer."

Once captured at Gettysburg from Johnson's Island Union prison, Ohio February 24, 1864
 "Try & keep the servants well clad & fed"

Film critic Armond White called it “torture porn” and accused McQueen of turning slavery into a “horror show”, and of confusing history with brutality, violence and misery. 

A little about Mr. Suggs

Born in Brooklyn,In 2008, Suggs was one of 29 journalists -- only two of whom were African-American -- selected worldwide to become a Nieman Fellow at Harvard University. 
Ernie studied in the university’s African and African American Studies. To prepare for a book he is writing, he took courses in literature, religion, black music, black humor, black nationalism and slavery.

Ernie Suggs is a Hot News reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution where he covers a variety of topics, including race, civil rights, education and ...

Upon seeing Mr. Sugg's article I wrote him to see if a Native Atlantan could offer an opposing position to his article. His response via email.

 Mr. Cooper of the CSA,
Thanks for writing. I appreciate your willingness to engage in this timely topic. I am not sure, however, what having someone from Atlanta write about GWTW does. Being American teaches us that being born somewhere does not make you an expert on that place. I suspect you were born in Atlanta and I would trust your opinion on any other region in the country if it was informed. I have lived here for 17 years. I am very well-read in culture, history and literature. I think I do okay covering Atlanta.

It sure makes a lot of sense for a yankee from Brooklyn to offer an opinion about Gone With the Wind and not someone locally. Most Southerners understand we are just an occupied part of the country with no input allowed on anything about the past.

The best way to portray Mr. Suggs without going further is to post his picture on the right with a fellow carpetbagger. 

So Mr. Suggs you may not allow a native's view point but you must know even after 75 years of the movie's premier and 150 years later after the war....... when it came to the scene in the movie with one of Sherman's bummers........the entire crowd cheered when scarlett shot him in the face.

Oh, I'm a good old rebel
Now thats just what I am
And for this yankee nation
I do no give a damn.

I'm glad I fit (fought) against 'er (her)
I only wish we'd won
I ain't asked any pardon
For anything I've done.

I hates the Yankee nation
And eveything they do
I hates the declaration
Of independence too.

I hates the glorious union
'Tis dripping with our blood
I hates the striped banner
And fit (fought) it all I could.

I rode with Robert E. Lee
For three years there about
Got wounded in four places
And I starved at Pint (Point) Lookout.

I coutch (caught) the roomatism (rheumatism)
Campin' in the snow
But I killed a chance of Yankees
And I'd like to kill some mo'. (more.)

Three hundred thousand Yankees
Is stiff in southern dust
We got three hundred thousand
Before they conquered us.

They died of southern fever
And southern steel and shot
I wish they was three million
Instead of what we got.

I can't take up my musket
And fight 'em down no mo' (more)
But I ain't a-goin' to love 'em (them)
Now that is serten sho. (certain sure.)

And I don't want no pardon
For what I was and am
I won't be reconstructed
And I do not give a damn.

Oh, I'm a good old rebel
Now that's just what I am
And for this Yankee nation
I do no give a damn.

I'm glad I fought against 'er (her)
I only wish we'd won
I ain't asked any pardon
For anything I've done.

I ain't asked any pardon

For anything I've done...

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