All the Way Home (film #319 on Prelinger Archive). [Category: Public Service]

Remember the 50s, folks? Remember what a better, simpler time it was? Remember how people lived in nice safe neighborhoods where it was safe for children to play? Unless, of course, you show the house you are selling to an African-American family. Then tongues will wag, telephone harassment will ensue, and your grandchild will get a can of black paint thrown at her from a moving car. Ah yes, racism. That was a part of the 50s, too. This film about housing discrimination serves as a reminder that it really wasn't so long ago that most white people were sure that the presence of a single black family in their neighborhood would turn it into a slum, realtors made under-the-table agreements with banks to turn down mortgages from African-Americans who wanted to move into the "wrong" neighborhood, home sellers were harassed for even showing their houses to persons of the wrong skin color, and it was all because of ignorant stereotypes on the order of "they smell" or "I've got two daughters to protect!" One interesting point the film makes is the implication that the local realtor may be stirring up racial fears in order to drum up more business. It also shows how courageous you had to be to buck this tide. An excellent, intelligently-made document of a 50s social problem that is worth watching now, lest we allow ourselves to slip back into those old ways.

Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: N/A. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: *****.

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