CLEAN FUN jim crow comic book 1944


No, i mean it, but you can read it, it’s ok, i’m thanking the other people who aren’t reading it.

This isn’t a rare or even an interesting book except for it’s racism, which unfortunately is pretty typical for the time, and i didn’t really want to advertise it here. But it’s been written about elsewhere and is considered one of the worst comics ever, and something i have in my own collection, and have sold on ebay.

When i got my first copy i called the library in Columbus and talked to the reference librarian about the general availability of old city business records. It seemed pretty much a dead end as far as attaching a name to the business. The artists name was way too common to do an easy search for.

i was selling a copy on ebay a few months ago, and looking for something interesting to write about it and dug up some of the Crump J Strickland info, and recently went and checked the web again while selling another copy, and found some more info.

anyway, over the last several years as i’ve done outside reading i’ve found jim crow to be this stupid dead end sub-plot to american history at so many important times that it’s impossible to write about it casually. it has really effected all of our economic and social structures here and in our foreign policy, since colonial times, and i guess other people have noticed that, also.

so, as long as the book has been written about and i think the whole thing is available elsewhere so i’m going to organize what little i know about Crump J Strickland (26 July 1904 – February 1973) and his times.

Since i put it up, almost nobody’s looked at it, and that’s what my thank you is for. My web stats show me that 20 times more people wanted to read about paul robeson yesterday than they did this, and 1o times the number of people went to see about the history of labor unions and the first black comic book, and i think that’s a good thing



starring Shoogafoots Jones
Specialty Book Co, 1944

Columbus, Ohio

24 Pages
Black and White with Two Color Covers
This notorious comic isn’t the worst example of jim crow but it’s a good example, and because it’s a comic book it will live forever.

i once bought a copy from a guy who specialized in ‘black americana’ who said these were used by churches to convince black people to keep on the right path, IE: conform to jim crow white society. That makes sense to me, that it was produced by whites for black propaganda. When you read it,  Shoogafoots is a guy well known and liked in his area, but he is definitely the low man on the socio-economic scale, and that’s all he’s got to look forward to being, and that’s the path jim crow was designed to keep him on.

The book is filled out with inspirational quotes for young people, taken from the book Stray Thoughts, by Crump J Strickland, a volume well regarded by Southern Baptists, according to the cover text. Southern Baptists were Southern because they were racially exclusive. Crump J Strickland turns up elsewhere as one of those guys who traveled around making salacious speeches about the horrors of White Slavery, and just generally hustling for a buck, self-publishing whatever the market would bear. His white slavery book was titled Hard to Believe and a similar was City of Sin, which apparently expands from prostitution to include the whole web of urban and self-reinforcing  sin that ensnared the innocent of that epoch .  He also wrote Electricity and Christianity and Happiness as Free as a Ray of Light, and was employed as a Rectifier Field Specialist for the General Electric Company.

He had two books published by the Specialty Book Company , PO Box 186 Columbus Ohio, in 1944. One was titled Why Jews Are Persecuted, which seems like a strange title to come out at the end of the war, and the other was named Alcohol and White Slavery, apparently two major areas of investigation for Mr Strickland.

So maybe the church connection is coincidental. And one can only draw superficial conclusions from the titles of books, but the KKK disliked blacks and Jews and was against the immorality of drink and prostitution and jazz music because they encouraged race mixing. This doesn’t mean Specialty Books was a KKK publisher, or that Strickland was a member or even an overt racist but the book obviously comes out of a cultural pool that includes racism and a lot of authoritarianism.  It’s a strange book, that’s for sure, there’s a copy online somewhere, check it out and make up your own mind.

It’s obviously not professional quality and the interior art isn’t the same shape as the physical page dimensions, which is why the Strickland text runs on the bottom of the pages, so it’s hard to guess what the purpose might have been, because it seems pretty far removed from any kind of plan, except of course there’s 24 pages of it and a 10c cover price, so on the surface it’s some kind of semi-small town publishing hustle in 1944, something that somebody, artists or printers or a combination thought they could make some money on

And that’s the point about jim crow, it pervades everything in the book. it confirms stereotypes for black and white readers alike, and people took their time and money to produce these because they thought the book would find a responsive audience and get them more money back. once you make money that way, you think that’s an ok way to make money. The social, psychological and economic assumptions of jim crow are the foundation of this comic, as they are the foundations of southern culture, and for various political reasons over the years we’ve allowed a very vocal and racist sub-group way too much power.

Donald Trump’s refusal to separate himself from jim crow white supremacist violence is nothing new. His fist job was making the letter “C” on housing applications for his father’s apartment buildings. The letter meant the applicant was “Colored”, and not wanted on Trump property. Jim Crow in liberal New York? While the Trump family collected federal money for providing low-income Section 8 Housing? Absolutely jim crow.

After the police killing of 18 year old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on 9 August 2014, the Justice Department investigated and issued a report condemning Ferguson, a suburb of St Louis, not a small, isolated area, as a place where law was not used as a means for protecting public safety, but as a way to generate revenue. A community in which both policing and municipal court practices were based on implicit and explicit racism, and disproportionately harmful to African American residents.

The public trust was found to have been undermined in a community where social conditions, unlawful practices and constitutional violations  undermined the public trust, eroded police legitimacy, made local residents feel less safe and created an atmosphere where people feel under assault by those who claim to serve and protect, according to Attorney General Eric Holder on 4 March 15.

The report went on to detail how the town’s bureaucracy had supported itself for years by imposing as severe court fines as possible, which effected the poorest citizens, who were disproportionately black, because of the historic reality of Jim Crow .  Court fines, of which traffic tickets are the most common, can turn to jail time if left unpaid by poor people, and jail time leads to gaps in employment history and loss of residence, which puts stress on the resources of the community. And that’s jim crow if you don’t know it, and the system we all live under, not just black people.

Don’t forget, books like this  also function as instruction for whites, to tell us we have it better than a whole ‘other’ class of people and distract us from the fact that we’re all working people in the same boat. if you want to know what the ruling elites think of real people just look at Donald Trump’s reported descriptions of dead veterans as losers and suckers.