If Smith had been newly exposed as a lifelong bigot, the case for declaring her persona non grata would be strong. No one has suggested anything of the kind. On the contrary: In 1951, Smith invited Josephine Baker to appear on her popular TV program, the first time the controversial black entertainer was on American television. . . . .
Before deciding that someone’s name or image (or recording) be purged from a place of honor it has long occupied, I propose a two-part test: (1) Was the person honored for unworthy or indecent behavior? (2) Is the person known today primarily for unworthy or indecent behavior? If the answer to both is no, the honor or memorial should stay.
Kate Smith was a beloved singer who brought joy to millions and raised America’s spirits in dark times. That is her legacy, not a couple of dubious long-forgotten songs.
Monday, April 29, 2019
What Is The REAL Legacy Of Kate Smith?
From an excellent column by Jeff Jacoby in the Boston Globe: