Two Chairs No Waiting 119: African-Americans in Mayberry

by Floyd on January 18, 2011

Host: Allan Newsome
Running time: 0:20:04

Two Chairs No Waiting

Two Chairs No Waiting

In this episode we’ll be talking about African-Americans living in Mayberry.  This is a topic that comes up from time to time in The Andy Griffith Show fan community and since this episode is being recorded on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the topic came to my mind.

The only primary African-American character to appear on The Andy Griffith Show was in the 7th season episode “Opie’s Piano Lesson.”  Volunteer football coach Flip Conroy, played by Rockne Tarkington, has to show Andy that Opie can do two things and do them both well. To illustrate his point, Conroy, an ex-New York Giant, sits down and plays a classical work on the piano.

We’ll talk about “extras” walking around Mayberry and the fact that there are African-Americans in Mayberry.  Of course this isn’t the same as having primary characters but we need to remember that this was a television show done to entertain, to escape to a better place for 30 minutes. Mayberry wasn’t the “real world” but I believe it did, and does, represent a world many would like to live in. A world where everyone, black, white, gypsies….whomever would be treated fairly and with respect.

I believe that we saw enough of Andy Taylor’s character to know that whomever was around him would be shown caring respect.  Let’s all try and show each other that same caring and pretend that we do live in Mayberry. If we do, I think this world would be a better place for us all.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Brent Seguine January 19, 2011 at 10:07 am

Moving ahead a couple years, MAYBERRY RFD had the recurring character of farmer Ralph Barton, Sam Jones’ neighbor, played by Charles Lampkin.

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Tim Bradshaw February 13, 2013 at 7:03 pm

Nice Podcast. This is s subject I have often thougt about from time to time. I am always watching the background, even more so when watching the DVDs. Every once in a while I am confronted by someone about this aspect of the show. Most of the time the persons asking are surprised when I tell them, “yes there were African-Americans in Mayberry” I think those who appeared in the background were giving the same respect as anyone else on the set. In every case where African-Americans appeared in the background, one should notice they were dressed as nice as any other mayberry citizen and were right there particiapting as townspeople.

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