Academy Award Theater – Kitty Foyle. 460406

  • Yes, “Free, white and 21” was a common expression in those days meaning that one was unhampered by any restrictions. I don’t know that anyone ever thought deeply about it though. It was one of many expressions that were used without thinking about the implications.

    • Keith

      I meet all those qualifications as well. Free and as unhampered, or as much as anybody. I guess it’s the race aspect that bugs me about that particular figure of speach. Though I was raised in a home where certain relatives had strong opinions about persions of color. I never could figure it out. It never made sense to me. I guess I’m just wierd that way.

      But then again… White could mean purity. Pure in spirit and intentions. Hmm… I like that definition better. It actually holds up better than pressing it into a racial issue, and makes it applicable to anybody, of any walk of life. .

      Confusion over figures of speech… Just call me Abner Peabody. Well… I grannies! I do know!

      • Buck Benny

        Well said Keith, I too have always been uncomfortable with this phrase. The other phrase I could never understand was when you helped someone they would say “mighty white of you.” Did that mean what it sounds like?

        • Keith

          With the strong racial feelings of certain relatives of mine, I’m sure they meant it along those racial lines.

          However, it’s also used among people of non-white races. I asked a friend about that once and he said he uses the phrase, “that’s mighty white of you” all the time. To him, white took the angle of purity. Doing something out of honesty, or friendship, or sincerity.