PS: Pondering 1920s set tv programs

Incidentally, after yesterday’s Fu Manchu blog, where I mentioned Anna May Wong in a 1920s period tv show I remembered one of my favourite photographs of all time. Which is this…

Paul Robeson, Anna May Wong and Mei Lanfang outside Claridges Hotel, London 1935

Paul Robeson, Anna May Wong and Mei Lanfang outside Claridge’s Hotel in 1935.  Ok, so a bit later than I immediately remembered. But my point is that here is cosmopolitan London, with three iconic, global, stars of their time, and they aren’t all white, or black. The thing I love about this photo is that it really speaks to cross-racial coalition, friendship, and stardom – in a time supposedly less progressive than ours. Robeson also supported the cause of Welsh miners and a few years later would star in The Proud Valley about mining life in the Rhondda Valley. And yet, this kind of diversity, this intercultural exchange that actually existed, is not present in our mainstream media. Producers, look at this photo and take note….

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