Yesterday at Facebook, I posted this
with the caption: “Guess who came to dinner? A thoughtful portrait of perhaps the most influential graduate student of the late 20th Century….”
Then today I made this more explicit posting the photograph a second time and saying
“Subroto Roy notes that when a 23 year old Barack Obama Sr came to the USA and met Ann Dunham to become the most influential graduate student of the late 20th Century, it was more than a half dozen years before the great Sidney Poitier acted in “Guess who’s coming to dinner?” — and those half dozen years were crucial in the Civil Rights Movement…”
And on the same lines I posted yet again, saying
“Subroto Roy wonders if the meeting of Barack Obama Senior with Mr and Mrs Dunham was a bit like this portrayal in a famous film more than a half dozen years later”
attached to a photo of the Sidney Poitier character meeting with the Spencer Tracy-Katherine Hepburn characters
and finally I have posted a fourth time a short while ago saying
“Subroto Roy notes, in reference to his analogy of the 1960 meeting between Barack Obama Sr and Ann Dunham and the characters in the 1967 movie “Guess who’s coming to dinner”, that in both cases the meeting occurred in Hawaii, and the parents of the girl were on the West Coast…. Hmmm…. coincidence? Or did the writer of the movie adapt from a real tit-bit of news?”
Perhaps I have discovered something here, perhaps not. Either way, American popular culture and American politics have had a felicitous confluence.
I forget the details of the movie but seem to recall the Sidney Poitier character had to rush off to serve a good cause in….. Africa….
There were 17 American States which forbade inter-racial marriages at the time the movie was made in 1967; in 1960 there may have been more though Hawaii, which became a state on Aug 21 1959, to its credit was not one of them. Thus there is a third possibility beyond coincidence and the writer of the movie hearing about real news, namely, the fact that Hawaii never had “anti-miscegenation” laws, a fact that could help explain both events.