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Category Archives: Blue gum negroes

Chicago Tribune, December 20, 1882. Hey, we’re back in business here at The Hope Chest. (And may I just thank the international service response team of the Hewlett-Packard corporation for fixing me up with working computer in just slightly more time than it would have taken for Rural Free Delivery to deliver me a can of Dapper Dan Pomade? Outstanding.) Read More »

Okay, so I’ve roughed out a provisional draft of alternate lyrics to “My Favorite Things” for our own Jackie of Finland to record, per our contractually-binding exchange in this comment thread. I’m also in negotiations to get the two surviving Seidlitz Brothers to dub some backing vocals, though according to their agent, Shlomo’s voice box is pretty much shot from three packs of Chesterfields a day since the McKinley administration. No matter: that’s why God made Pro Tools and the electrolarynx.

I’m kind of going back and forth on the first verse here, as it lacks the 100% concrete historicity that the other verses have. Though maybe I could fix that by nailing down concrete references to back it all up.

Barrel-clad hobos and window-ledge pastries
Irish patrolman and drunks with the DTs
Blackguards and maidens and oncoming trains
These are a few of my favorite thangs

Phials of acid in ex-lovers’ faces
Naked wild women in desolate places
Negroes with blue gums who kill when they bite
This is a load of my favorite shite

Mince pies for breakfast, and luncheon, and dinner
Corpses injected to make their eyes glimmer
Med school students defiling the dead
This sort of thing tends to fuck with my head

Cuckqueaned wives killing spinster cult leaders
Cats sold as rabbits to unwitting eaters
Show-offs igniting their cee-gars with bills
These are symptoms of society’s ills

When the dog brings
Dynamite back

When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favorite things
And then I feel truly bad

Jackie: Far be it from me to impinge on your creative process, but I was thinking this would work best Lento assai and in a minor key.

Fort Worth Register, July 21, 1897. Of course this item was written before science had established that blue gum and red gum negroes are distinct species. But the Jefferson Davis connection (he was the President of the Confederacy, for those of you who slept through History 101: From Redskins to Robber Barons) raises an interesting counterfactual point: Had the Union forces thought to organize a battalion or two of BGNs as shock troops, I bet the Civil War could have ended 28 Days Later.

Macon Daily Telegraph, August 22, 1908. Okay, who took the time to divide the excised phalange into two equal portions for the pups? Pretty sloppy reporting.

Columbus Ledger, July 30, 1910. Garden variety racism just isn’t good enough for a certain class of deep thinker.

The Fort Worth Register, July 24, 1897. A rare instance of journalistic skepticism vis a vis the deadly bite of the BGN. Read More »

New York Herald, April 4, 1892. If the otherwise “quiet and inoffensive” Gid Crane of Texas was ostensibly willing to play along with the blue gum mystique, he was playing a pretty dangerous game, as this horrific item illustrates. Again, the parallels to identifying/being indentified as a witch are pretty strong here. I’m puzzled by the above assertion that “few have ever been found who have ever seen such a person.” Our Northern correspondent must not have kept very close track of the Southern press, because BGNs were in the news all the time. Read More »

St. Louis Republic, August 1, 1891. I’d love to know what sort of “documentary evidence” Gid had to prove his royal African lineage. Interesting though to note the overlap between blue gums and blue blood. Anyway, Gid seems like a clear cut instance of a supposed blue gum embracing the label for whatever advantages came with it. That he had green eyes–“putrid green,” in our reporter’s gallant formulation–suggests he was of mixed parentage or descent as well.

Biloxi Herald, October 10, 1891. At last, some hard scientific data on this here blue gum phenomena. Which has to be real, because Yankee newspapers refer to it and most Southerners believe in it.
The persistent association of the BGN with hydrophobia (rabies) is interesting. It’s as if the BNG is a vector for rabies but doesn’t get the disease himself (and BGNs do seem to be exclusively male so far.)
Read More »

Dallas Morning News, March 25, 1891. Such are the perils of miscegenation between the red-gummed and the blue.