9 October 2016 | MartinHafer
Sunshine Sammy steals the show...
Despite being black, 'Sunshine Sammy' Morrison and 'Farina' Hoskins were two of the higher paid performers in Hal Roach's Our Gang comedies. So, while there is one scene that might make a few folks feel uneasy, in context this is actually a very forward-thinking short film and allowed non-white kids to be the leads...a rarity in the day.
When the film begins, Sammy is taking his brother/sister* for a walk. But they're hungry and Sammy goes about trying to get them some food. This part, frankly, is not especially memorable. However, when Sammy forgets about watching his sibling and instead visits with the gang, the film heats up in many ways. The Jesse James Juniors want Sammy to prove he's brave enough to join them and Sammy spins a very funny yarn about saving a young girl from kidnappers, earning armloads of cash and being able to defeat criminals all by himself! Naturally, it doesn't end with this!
The Jesse James Juniors wear hoods that are somewhat reminiscent of the Klan. Of course it's not--as they want Sammy to join. But I am sure some folks might be a bit shocked by this scene. Taken in context, it's easy enough to ignore. Apart from this and a slow beginning, this is actually one of the better Our Gang silents--quite fun and worth your time. If you want to see it, try archive.org, where you can download it for free.