PIZZA PIZZA DADDY-O (1967) looks at continuity and change in girls' playground games at a Los Angeles school. The footage included in this film was taken in December of 1967 on the playground of a school in a Los Angeles black ghetto. The players are a dozen fourth-grade girls (9 to 10 years old). The repertoire of games played by African-American children at this time was highly stable across the country and highly dynamic; new games (usually re-workings or parodies of older ones) appear and disappear, but their essential structure and stylistic characteristics continue to be handed on from one generation of school children to the next.
Pizza Pizza Daddy O is one of four films by Bess Lomax Hawes distributed by Media Generation.
Bess Lomax Hawes was one of the most important and beloved of American folklorists. She died in Oregon on November 27, 2009, at the age of eighty-eight. Daughter and sister of two pioneering field collectors—John and Alan Lomax—she was herself an important collector and student of African American children’s songs. But she was also a singer active in the Folk Revival, a teacher, and most important, one of the most influential of American public folklorists. From her post in the NEA she created ways to honor the nation’s folk and traditional arts and to increase public awareness and appreciation of them. In a video interview Bess Hawes talks about her role in developing the field of public folklore. Portions of her recent memoir Sing It Pretty can be read on line, as can a discussion of The Films of Bess Lomax Hawes. Among the many tributes to her already posted on the internet are ones by Peter Dreier and Jeff Titon that will give readers a glimpse of her dedication, wisdom, and humanity.