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Note On Narration

The narration has always been controversial. As Bess Hawes explained in an interview with Sharon Sherman in 1974.

From the black point of view…from the point of view of Watts, what those kids were doing on the playground had no interest whatever and damned little importance… I wrote an overblown beginning and hired a gentleman, who happened to be, by the way, on the advisory committee of the (Black) Panthers, to narrate it in as “up-town, high-toney” a voice as he could, to in effect say, “This is an educational film. It is important. This is a dignified upper-class presentation because we think it is important. We think you should look at it.” The interesting thing is that it’s had that effect and it worked exactly the way I intended it to…

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