The Atlantic: A new book offers a different perspective on The Little Rascals.
Our Gang, born and bred in the Jim Crow era, played to pickaninny stereotypes, and also parodied the KKK. (Cluck Cluck Klams was the kids’ club.) Down the decades, the series continued to fuel, and flout, fantasies and anxieties as Americans wrestled with integration, multiculturalism, and post-racial hopes. But for kids, fun was always high on the agenda. As Henry Louis Gates Jr. appreciates in his foreword, Lee (a childhood fan herself) never forgets that.