Translate

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Aunt Ester in August Wilson's Play "Gem of the Ocean" : Another Example Of 'Aunt' In African American Culture


American Masters PBS, Feb 6, 2015

Phylicia Rashad was nominated for a Tony Award for her portrayal of Ester in Gem of the Ocean. Here in a dramatic reading created for August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand, she enacts a scene in which Ester reveals the existence of the spiritual and symbolic City of Bones.

****

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcase a YouTube video of a production of August Wilson's play "Gem Of The Ocean". 

Information about August Wilson and that play are included in this post along with descriptions of August Wilson's character "Aunt Ester".

The content of this post is presented for socio-cultural and entertainment purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to August Wilson for his cultural legacy. Thanks to Phylicia Rashad and all those who are featured in this clip and thanks to all those who were associated with this production of t"Gem Of The Ocean". Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this clip on YouTube.

****
INFORMATION ABOUT AUGUST WILSON
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/August_Wilson
"August Wilson (April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005) was an American playwright. He has been referred to as the "theater's poet of Black America".[1] He is best known for a series of ten plays collectively called The Pittsburgh Cycle, which chronicle the experiences and heritage of the African-American community in the 20th century. Plays in the series include, Jitney (1982), Fences (1984), Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1984), Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1986), The Piano Lesson (1987), King Hedley II (1999). Two of his plays received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and two of his other works won the Tony Award for Best Play. In 2006 Wilson was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame.

His works delve into the African American experience as well as examinations of the human condition. Other themes have ranged from the systemic and historical exploitation of African Americans, as well as race relations, identity, migration, and racial discrimination. "...

****
INFORMATION AND COMMENTARY ABOUT GEM OF THE OCEAN
Source #1
From https://www.pghcitypaper.com/pittsburgh/the-hill-district-of-the-1900s-comes-alive-in-august-wilsons-gem-of-the-ocean/Content?oid=15720946 Aunt Ester, the Hill District, and the surreal world of August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean By Alex Gordon, August 27, 2019
"Anyone familiar with August Wilson's The Pittsburgh Cycle knows about 1839 Wylie Avenue. In reality, it's a mostly vacant lot on a steep, grassy slope in the Hill District, but in the Cycle, it's nothing so ordinary. This is the home of the neighborhood spiritual healer Aunt Ester, a place where friends, family, strangers, and neighbors can find refuge, a bed and a hot meal, maybe a spiritual cleanse.

While references to Aunt Ester and 1839 Wylie are found throughout the Cycle, it's not until Wilson's Gem of The Ocean — published in 2003, set in 1904 — that Ester and the house take center stage. And so it's only fitting that Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company is performing the play at the actual 1839 Wylie Avenue, with a one-room, open-air stage tenuously perched on a steep slope overlooking the Lower Hill.

The story features Ester's caregiver Eli (Les Howard) and housekeeper Black Mary (Candace Michelle Walker); her friends Solly Two Kings (Kevin Brown) and Rutherford (Marcus Muzopappa); and Mary's menacing brother Caesar (Wali Jamal), a police officer with a mean streak. The characters (minus Caesar) have an easy chemistry that suggests a tight-knit community and many long nights spent shooting the sh-t* in Ester's parlor. But the plot is set into motion by a new arrival called Citizen Barlow (Jonathan Berry), who's recently left his home in Alabama under shadowy circumstances. He's come to Ester for absolution, though he's not sure what that might look like.

Ester, it turns out, is 285 years old (this being 1904, that would put her birth year at 1619, a pointed year in the history of the slave trade in the U.S.). She has an all-knowing, comforting way of talking, but she's much more than a charismatic speaker. As the program explains, "Aunt Ester is the ultimate ancestor, the conduit for all the history of Black America." And it's in this context that Ester's role — inside and outside the confines of 1839 Wylie — becomes clear. Her mystical powers are vague, but the specifics don't matter. Ester has knowledge and a spirit that transcend the constraints of time and place.*

And so Ester (Chrystal Bates) takes Citizen on a spiritual journey on the slave ship the Gem of the Ocean to a watery graveyard called the City of Bones. Director Andrea Frye stages the scenes of magical realism with a light hand, letting the setting — watching characters in 1904 as modern cars whiz by below — convey the surreality on its own. Not all stories are better experienced in their literal settings, but for a piece this richly bound to and inspired by its location, the approach is incredibly powerful. The set is so effectively insular, so at odds with its surroundings, that it feels that Ester could, if she wanted, snap her fingers and detach the room from its soil and send it sailing into the sky. That doesn't happen, but what does is almost equally fantastic, unbelievable, and affecting."
-snip-
*These sentences are given in italics to highlight them.

****
SOURCE #2
 From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gem_of_the_Ocean
"Gem Of The Ocean"Date premiered April 28, 2003

Place premiered: Goodman Theatre, Chicago, IL

Gem of the Ocean is a play by American playwright August Wilson. It is the first installment of his decade-by-decade, ten-play chronicle, The Pittsburgh Cycle, dramatizing the African-American experience in the twentieth century.

Plot

The play is set in 1904 at 1839 Wylie Avenue in Pittsburgh's Hill District. Aunt Ester, the drama's 285-year-old fiery matriarch, welcomes into her home Solly Two Kings, who was born into slavery and scouted for the Union Army, and Citizen Barlow, a young man from Alabama searching for a new life and in search of redemption. Aunt Ester is not too old to practice healing; she guides him on a soaring, lyrical journey of spiritual awakening to the City of Bones.

Characters

Aunt Ester Tyler

a former slave and a "soul-cleanser", who is the head of 1839 Wylie Avenue. She claims to be 285 years old and acts as the benevolent, if disciplinarian, ruler of the household. She entertains the romantic ambitions of Solly. She is a recurring character in several of Wilson's plays of the Pittsburgh Cycle.

Citizen Barlow

A young man from Alabama who comes to the house to be cleansed by Ester. He is enlisted to help construct a wall, and eventually journeys to The City of Bones.

[...]

Synopsis

1904, Pittsburgh: 1839 Wylie Avenue in the Hill District is the home of Aunt Ester, a 285-year-old former slave, who is a keeper of tradition and history for her people and a renowned cleanser of souls. The people who pass through her parlor and kitchen include Eli, Aunt Ester's protector; Black Mary, her housekeeper and protΓ©gΓ©; Solly Two Kings, a former slave, conductor on the Underground Railroad and scout for the Union Army; Black Mary's brother, Caesar, a constable; Rutherford Selig, a peddler; and Citizen Barlow, a new arrival from down South who needs Aunt Ester to help him absolve the guilt and shame from a crime he's committed."...

****
DESCRIPTIONS OF THE CHARACTER "AUNT ESTER" IN AUGUST WILSON'S PLAYS
Source #1:
From https://www.jstor.org/stable/20642023?seq=1 
“She Make You Right With Yourself”: Aunt Ester: Masculine Loss And Cultural Redemption In August Wilson’s Cycle Plays
By Cynthia L. Caywood and Carlton Floyd
"In Two Trains Running introduces an offstage character who he comes to see as “the most significant persona of [his ten play] cycle. (2005). This character is Aunt Ester, the centuries old former slave who, Wilson says, is “the embodiment of African wisdom and tradition- the person who has been alive since 1619…and has remained with us.” (Denzell, 2006 , 255). In the play, which is set in Memphis Lee’s Pittsburgh diner in 1969, Aunt Ester provides solace and salvation to several of the characters who are attempting to find guidance through their turbulent and changing world. She urges them to reconnect with their past.  Her advice is simple: “If you drop the ball, you got to go back and pick it up.” (Wilson, 1963, 109).

[…]

Abstract

August Wilson proclaimed the centuries old matriarch, Aunt Ester, his most significant character. Her presence incarnates a key Wilson idea: The need for African Americans to move forward into the future through embracing their past. This movement has been hindered by African Americans embracing European American values, particularly African American men, who have been hopelessly disenfranchised by European American definitions of masculinity that reward assimilation and result in the rejection of the African sensibilities that Wilson saw as essential to African American survival. Wilson's Decalogue documents repeatedly the need for African American men to reconnect with traditional, culturally rooted African sensibilities as they have been preserved by Aunt Ester. Ultimately, Aunt Ester must die to make way for a male redeemer whose presence symbolizes a restoration of this traditional African ethos in African American lives, a presence not yet existent, but one for which a glimmer of hope remains."...

****
SOURCE #2
 From 
https://dctheatrescene.com/2007/02/06/gem-of-the-ocean/
Gem of the Ocean

February 6, 2007 by Lorraine Treanor

Produced by Arena Stage

Reviewed by Debbie Minter Jackson
…."Once you get past the artifice of a 285 year-old Aunt Ester (yes, that was a stretch for me, too), you can sit back and let [playwright August Wilson]’s language and ideas have their way with you. Aunt Ester represents the ancient, mystical matriarch referred to in many of Wilson’s works. Now, in this earliest (1904) of Wilson’s 20th century series, we finally get to see what all the fuss was about. Aunt Ester is the faith healer of souls, keeper of history, community anchor, spiritual mother, collective conscience and consciousness, bridging from African roots across the Diaspora to the current black experience. Yes, I know it sounds heady, but Wilson pulls it off through exquisite character development and masterful story telling.

[…]

Wilson recognizes that we can all use help escaping from the various chains of emotional slavery that oppress, maim and kill us, and that, for me, is the most powerful message in Gem of the Ocean."...

****
SOURCE #3
From https://ufdc.ufl.edu/AA00001593/00001 "Discovering Aunt Ester In Gem Of The Ocean By August Wilson"

by Anedra D. Johnson
..."Spearheading this spiritual journey to redemption, Aunt Ester is the “critical figure mediating between the African past and the African American present” (Elam 184) in Gem of the Ocean. Wilson cleverly uses Aunt Ester to represent the blood memory that connects Africa to the American culture. Through Aunt Ester, he seeks to infuse a spirit that speaks to the African American culture; a spirituality that represents and connects African Americans to one another. Wilson‟s tactic is revealed via the parables Aunt Ester tells prior to dispensing advice, and in the ritualistic manner in which she leads others to their redemption."...
-snip-
This pdf excerpt is part of a University Of Florida, Graduate School Project, Degree Of  Master Of  Fine Arts,  2011]

****
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.


Visitor comments are welcome.


Saturday, April 17, 2021

"Sanford & Son" TV Series' Aunt Esther: One Example Of What 'Aunt' Sometimes Means In African American Culture



J.M.T. FLIX, Apr 10, 2020

Lawanda Page played Aunt Esther on Sanford and Son. These are some of her funniest moments. This was made strictly for entertainment purposes only.

****
Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post showcase a YouTube video that presents clips of the character "Aunt Esther" from the African American comedy television series Sanford and Son.

Information about that series and its "Aunt Esther" character are given in this post along with selected comments from the discussion thread of that YouTube video

The content of this post is presented for socio-cultural and entertainment purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to  Lawanda Page, Red Foxx, and all others who starred in the Sanford and Son television series. Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publisher of this video on YouTube.

****
INFORMATION ABOUT SANFORD AND SON TELEVISION SERIES
From 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanford_and_Son
"
Sanford and Son is an American sitcom television series that ran on the NBC television network from January 14, 1972, to March 25, 1977. It was based on the BBC Television programme Steptoe and Son, which had its original broadcast run in the United Kingdom from 1962 to 1974.[1]

 Known for its edgy racial humor, running gags, and catchphrases, the series was adapted by Norman Lear and considered NBC's answer to CBS's All in the Family. Sanford and Son has been hailed as the precursor to many other African-American sitcoms. It was a ratings hit throughout its six-season run, finishing in the Nielsens top ten for five of those seasons.

While the role of Fred G. Sanford was known for his bigotry and cantankerousness, the role of Lamont Sanford was that of Fred's long-suffering, conscientious, peacemaker son. At times, both characters involved themselves in schemes, usually as a means of earning cash quickly to pay off their various debts. Other colorful and unconventional characters on the show included Aunt Esther, Grady Wilson, Bubba Bexley,[2] and Rollo Lawson.[3]"...

****
DESCRIPTION OF "AUNT ESTHER" FROM THE SANFORD AND SON TELEVISION SERIES
From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esther_Anderson_(Sanford_and_Son)
..."Esther Anderson is the Bible-toting sister-in-law of Fred Sanford. She is a staunchly religious Baptist who finds little use for humor and often criticizes Fred. Elizabeth, Esther's sister, was married to Fred, and Esther and the rest of the Winfield family were against the marriage from the outset. However, Esther often expressed that if anything good came out of the marriage it was her nephew, Fred's son, Lamont.

Lamont adored his aunt Esther, and would, against Fred's and Grady's wishes, allow her to stay in their house and often defended her against their insults. Since Esther and her family were the only real connection he had to his late mother, Lamont welcomed her often. She, in turn, was there to counsel Lamont on his life, and did her best to help him to get out of living in his father's junkyard house. She did so because she felt that Elizabeth would not have wanted Lamont, whom Esther felt was very intelligent, to remain in such a limited life.

Fred responded to Esther's entrances by making exaggerated grimaces. He would then proceed to ruthlessly insult her, likening her to animals and fictitious movie monsters. Fred often focused on Esther's looks, once telling her, "I could stick your face in some dough and make gorilla cookies!" He also often insulted her by calling her "ugly" and pronouncing it Ug-leee!.

Esther's usual reactions to Fred's antics were to scowl and say, "Watch it, sucka!" Sometimes, cracking from the constant barrage of insults, she would swing her purse wildly in Fred's direction while angrily calling him an "old fish-eyed fool" or "heathen", among other names. Once, during a public prayer, Esther made reference to Fred, calling him a "snaggle-toothed jackass." She also clashed with Fred's friend Grady Wilson, whom she disliked because he was Fred's friend.

Despite their constant arguments, some episodes reveal that Esther and Fred were capable of kindness towards each other, such as when Fred helped her adopt a child. In one episode, Fred gave Esther $100 he won gambling to help her church, leaving him 35 cents.

Esther's long-suffering but loving alcoholic husband Woodrow (played by Raymond Allen) appeared infrequently later in the series. Woodrow was constantly drunk and somewhat henpecked. He eventually became sober so he and Esther could adopt a young orphan, Daniel (Eric Laneuville) in "Aunt Esther Meets Her Son".
-snip-
Here's some information from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaWanda_Page about Lawanda Page the actress who portrayed Aunt Esther:  
"LaWanda Page (born Alberta Peal; October 19, 1920[2] – September 14, 2002)[4][5] was an American actress and comedian best known for her role as "Aunt" Esther Anderson in the popular television sitcom Sanford and Son, which originally aired from 1972 until 1977.[3] Page later reprised this role in the short-lived television shows Sanford Arms (1976–1977) and Sanford (1980–1981). She also co-starred in the 1979 short-lived series Detective School.[6]

[...]

Page had been performing her comedy routine in nightclubs in St. Louis and then Los Angeles for several years, but had planned to leave show business to move back to St. Louis to take care of her ailing mother. When Redd Foxx was offered the sitcom Sanford and Son in Los Angeles, he brought his childhood friend Page to the attention of one of the show's producers, who was already familiar with Page and her act. Foxx subsequently asked Page to read for the role of Esther Anderson ("Aunt Esther"), the sister of Fred Sanford's late wife Elizabeth. …. Page's Aunt Esther went on to become one of the most popular TV sitcom characters of the 1970s.[7] Page's Aunt Esther was a combination of devout churchgoer and tough-as-nails realist, unafraid to state whatever was on her mind. While her relationship with Foxx's character, Fred Sanford, was usually confrontational, she portrayed a tender side when it came to her nephew Lamont. Common issues between brother-in-law and sister-in-law were Sanford's lack of business success and lukewarm religious faith. Sometimes, primarily because of their shared love for Lamont and the late Elizabeth, the two adversaries managed to find common ground. Although Sanford and Son was clearly Foxx's vehicle, Page's Aunt Esther could hold her own against the show's star. The church-going act of Esther was a great contrast to the raunchy, expletive-filled material of Page's live act and records."...

****
SELECTED COMMENTS FROM THE VIDEO THAT IS EMBEDDED IN THIS POST
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHb1Etc8w6M&ab_channel=J.M.T.FLIX


In addition to comments about that series and this actress and actors, I'm intersted in documenting what I believe are comments that refer to a particular  characterization of Black (African American) aunts/aunties. 

Numbers are added to these comments for referencing purposes only.

2020

1. Carrie Lucas
"Omg I LOVED AUNT ESTHER !!!!"

**
2. Regal Baby 82
"Classic comedy team supreme...RIP  Lawanda Page and Redd Foxx. ❤️❤️❤️"

**
3. 
markee k
"I love the way Lamont loves his Aunt Esther."

**
4. Lord Leamington
"Aunt Esther was the best part of this show by far"

**
Reply
5. Steve Kay
"No it was a great ensemble cast!!"

**
Reply
6. aliasdyln33
"​ @Steve Kay  Both statements are 100 percent true. Gotta so love both Aunt Esther, Fred, Lamont, and the ensemble cast: Skillet, Donna, Grady, Bubba, Rollo, Melvin, Lucky Leroy, Hutch, Julio, Swanny, Otis, Doctor Caldwell, Smitty, Ah Chew, and do so reply with whoever of the many I must be leaving out . ."

**
7. 
Sabrina Taylor
"Ester didn't bite her tongue she keeps it real πŸ˜†"

**
Reply
8. Connie Avant
"This reminds me of the old schoolers in my family. I miss the good times I had with them, and most of all I miss their wisdom."

**
9. Mr. Roboto
"Esther says to Fred " I have the Spirit of Christmas. Fred says to her... and the face of Halloween!"

**
10. SING UNTO THE LORD Inspired by the holy spirit
"If looks could kill. Every man in this show would be dead other that Esther nephew"

**
11. John Hanson
"Esther did not take crap from anybody. When she walked through that door you knew somebody was getting their ass kicked."

**
12. Roseanne Milton
"If evil eyes could kill, Esther would have life without the possibility of parole...😹"

**
13. 
Maria Ddub
"This was so fabulous to see!!  Aunt Esther is my favorite church lady of all timeπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.  God fearing but will do battle with anyone at the drop of a hat.  I felt all those pocket book blows and they hurtπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.  I still watch this show to this day because I need all the laughter I can get and Sanford and Son never fails❤️❤️❤️❤️❤"

*️*
14. Diane Calhoun
"Loved aunt Esther's comebacks to Fred's putdowns. Sooooo Sooooo funny. When God made her he brokje The mold."

**
15. Northern California
"No one could deliver those lines like Lawanda Page"

**
Reply
16. Joseph
"She made that character work"

**
Reply
17. Mad Mike
"No telling how many times those scenes had to be retaken, 'cause the only person in the room with a straight face wouldve been Ms Page πŸ˜†πŸ€£πŸ€£"

**
Reply
18. 
Jim Kasprzak
"She and Redd Foxx were the best of friends in real life"

**
19. Marcel Walker
"Aunt Esther was as much a cartoon character as Fred and his friends...but the older I get, the more I understand where she was coming from. And she loved Lamont, so that counts for a lot."

**
20. tmcmurra63
"Who didn't love Aunt Ester?  I know we grew up thinking she was all that.  And she kept a tight leash on Fred.  LOL

** 
21. sunshine712009
"7:58 Always saving the heathen's souls but right in the mix with 'em at the Juke Joint. Get it Aunt Esther!!"

** 
22. Maria Ddub
"This was so fabulous to see!!  Aunt Esther is my favorite church lady of all timeπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.  God fearing but will do battle with anyone at the drop of a hat.  I felt all those pocket book blows and they hurtπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚.  I still watch this show to this day because I need all the laughter I can get and Sanford and Son never fails❤️❤️❤️❤️❤"

**
23. 
Noe Berengena
"Funny how Lawanda Page and Redd Foxx both had x-rated routines when they did stand-up. Back when there was actually ratings to alert people to filthy comedy routines. The old days"

**

24. Eddie Landreth
"I still use my favorite Esther line to this day, which is "Don't make me have to knock you out!""

**
25. Dee Hannibal
"Esther was GANGSTA!!πŸ˜†πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎ"

**
26.Ernestine Maloy
"Esther's raiders...man and that pocket book of hers was a lethal weapon...lmmfao....she even chased a gangster out of Fred's home with that thing...."

**
27. Pat Moffit
"Only Aunt Ester can put the fear in my main man Rollo"

**
28. emptyhand777
"I love how Rollo was afraid of Ester."

**
Reply
29. Charles King, 2021
"It was RESPECT and fear..."

**
30. Bigstooler0
" "Ain't that Rita Lawson's boy Rollo?" "

**
Reply
31. 2u2
"Yep! But notice his reply...he said yes mam! Now let's fast forward to Todays young people...what you think their reply would be????"

**
Reply
32. Sharon Jackson

"πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ˜‚"

**
Reply
33. b Ollie
"Classic πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚"

**
Reply
34. Mz. Kendra
"When Rollo's cigarette fell out his mouth, I was done!!πŸ€£πŸ˜‚"

**
Reply
35. jlv3x
" @2u2  no matter how bad you thought you were, you knew you had to respect your elders back then!!!"

**
Reply
36. 2u2
"@Caleb Mayfield  Well to enlighten you...in some cultures it doesn't matter how old you are.When talking to your elders....Saying yes ma'am or yes sir! used to be and in some cultures,still is... a sign of respect to those older than you.But I gotta remember a lot of people especially after those day's were and are not taught to speak in a manner of respect to older folks any longer."

**
Reply
37. 2u2
"
@Caleb Mayfield  Caleb also.Like

within some Asian communities their actions and the way they speak to their elderly are in a very respectful manner.Just like in the southern States of America...Whenever I used to visit.I would hear the young people when talking to the older people saying things like yes Sir and No Sir or Yes Ma'am or No Ma'am.It's just a way that the younger people respectful talk to older people that's all.They used say that,that was a form of southern hospitality shown to older people."

**
Reply
38. 2u2
" @Caleb Mayfield  I've  seen 40 year old people talk to senior citizens using yes ma'am or yes Sir so I don't think being an adult means you stop respectfully speaking to those older than you just because they're now adults....that's all."

**
Reply
39. Rhonda Saunders
"She asks him that every time she sees him. I be weak every time. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚"

**
40. Dr. Dee
"
I grew up in Detroit,  but I formerly lived in Los Angeles, and I thought Aunt Esther was  portraying the role of a Sanctified matriarch, because there's so many Holiness churches in Los Angeles, but on the show, she was Missionary Baptist. When I was a kid, most of the churches in the black community were Missionary Baptist, and I never recall seeing the Baptist matriarchs shout like  Esther did, only in the Sanctified churches. She was hilarious. "Huuugh, glory!"

**
41. Chief Pontiac
"
One of the best shows ever. Did you know that Redd Foxx was only 42 years old when he starred in this show? All of his friends on the show, Aunt Ester, Big Boy Bubba, Lucky Leroy, Slick Skillet all used to play on the chitlin circuit back in the 40's and 50's as comedians. Check out LaWanda Paige's old comedy recordings. She was no saint!"

**
Reply
42. Tricia Johansen
"She and Fred were good friends in real life. Redd threatened to quit if they got rid of Aunt Esther!😎"

**
Reply
43. Ricoville
"He was born in 1922, so he was already 50 when the show debuted in '72, but his character was 65."

**
44. 
Spency Chestang
"Great writing + Redd Foxx's & Demond Wilson's pinpoint timing/chemistry, toss in Lawanda Page, Whitman Mayo as Grady, Leroy Daniels, Ernest Mayhand (or "Skillet", ALL of whom had been friends of Redd for years before the show) and it all equals comedy gold excellence (!) Give me this show and "All In The Family", some Carol Burnett Show with Harvey Korman, and the one & only Tim Conway, and you can pretty much keep everything else."

**
45. thequieterubcomethemoreuhear
"Epic laughter! And they could cut a rug & all that jazz too! πŸ˜ŽπŸ˜ŽπŸ’žπŸ’žπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ Love these folks & this show! πŸ’ž

I couldn't handle their raw comedy outside this show but Sanford and Son was one of the greatest & still is! 😎"


**
46. benHoda'ah Shedar'
"Aunt Esther : every  "Black" person in americas' ;  aunt , grandmother , mother , lady in the neighborhood......one of the cornerstones of the show"

**
Reply
47. Phoenix85040
"I always wanted her as my aunt!"

**
Reply
48. Jim F
"You don't have to be black to love Esther."

**
Reply
49. benHoda'ah Shedar'
" @Jim F

that's not what I was saying"

**
Reply
50. T Y
"Amen, dear BenHodah'ah Shedar' !!!"

**
Reply
51. K Moore
"benHoda'ah Shedar' Relax! He was just chiming in. He wasn’t challenging what you said, geesh!"

**
Reply
52. benHoda'ah Shedar'
"@k Moore

If so ; My apologies"

**
53. 
DP Students
"My favorite Fred and Esther moment:

Esther: "When I was born, my body was blessed by Mother Nature."

Fred: "And as you got older, it was cursed by Father Time!""

**
Reply
54. Rae Gasper
"Here’s my favorite moment: Fred: Goodbye “dear” Esther: oh you called me “dear” Fred: Why shouldn’t I call you “dear”, you look like Bambi’s father. Lol πŸ˜‚"

**
Reply
55. Maurice Doss
"Here's my favorite moment; Fred: "Ester what's wrong with you, Esther:"What's wrong with me,she had the nerve to call us witches. Fred:"And she was right you three ugly witches and you kissed your husbands and turned them into frogs."

**
Reply
56. Savannah Rivers Amore
"
I laughed when Fred Sanford came back from St. Louis and bought Esther a clear piece of plastic and she held it up to her face and he told her it was her Halloween mask I hollered"

**
57. Faizel Harris
"That bag of Esther is deadly"

**
Reply
58. Steven Dye
"We need Esther for this Virus , she would say get thee behind me satan."

**
Reply
59. Tricia Johansen
" @Steven Dye  she would be the cure for the coronavirus!!!!πŸ˜ŽπŸ™"

**
Reply
60. 
J 5 mobile
"Coronavirus you old pickle eyed bear hugging fool begone"

**
61. Hope Dunkel
"
Aunt Esther's side eye and bad ass temper are goals."

**
62. 
 Natleata Williams
" "Stop!🀚🏾 there's no peace says the Lord unto the wicked...πŸ˜‚"

**
63. 
Zacharias3
"Loved how she could deliver a line and THAT evil eye. Acting perfection. Perfect comedy timing!!"

**
64. Max Redman
"Best Aunt Esther line ever... "I wish I had some Dough, then I could stick your face in it and make Gorilla Cookies". Redd Foxx was hilarious."

**
65. Diamond Kim71
"Here something we can all agree on, Aunt Esther did not play!!! Lol"

**
66. Marcus Trice
"Admit it y'all. We all have a "Aunt Esther" in our family."

****

2021

67. Jim Angler
"Ain't that Rita Lawson's boy ralo you ought to be ashamed of yourself LMFAO never gets olddddd"

**
68. 
Tom Servo
"Rollo acting like a 5 year old caught with his hand in the cookie jar lol. My Dad even remembered this by quoting "Aren't you Rita Lawson's boy?!"

**
69.
Teshome Vaughn
"She reminds me of my grandma πŸ˜†"

**
70. Bobby moore
"
THIS HOUSE CORRUPTED EVEN MY FAVORITE NEPHEW,  AND BROKE HIS ARM JESUS LOL"

**
71. Jon-Eric Phoenixx
"5:49 Eight day old collard greens wouldn't agree with Superman.

Only Aunt Esther's one liners, kept the show, tight like glue."

**
72. 
Sportz N Sh*t
"Most black families has an Aunt Esther in there household love the lord but would cuss u out in second and tells it like it is 🀣🀣🀣"
-snip-
This is how that blogger’s name is written in that discussion thread.

In that comment "Black" probably specifically means "African American". 

**
73. Lisa Guy
"
THIS WOMAN GAVE THIS SHOW LIFE!!!!!"

**
74. Robert Lanich
"I like when Aunt Esther said the three words Shame, Shame, Shame, I think she got that from Jim N."

**
75. In this World
"This show is legendary. The Big Money Grip episode was one of the funniest TV episodes period. I also love when she had her entourage with her. When we had matriarch s to keep us in line.

**
76. Faithful Forever
"The Lord will smite thee; but I can't wait!"  I absolutely love Aunt Esther.  "Fool!" "Heathens!"

****
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.

Reprint Of A 2016 Stabroek News Letter To The Editor About The Use Of The Terms "Auntie" And "Uncle" In The Caribbean & In Some Other Nations Worldwide

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides an excerpt of a 2016 post about the use of the term "Auntie" and "Uncle" in various Caribbean nations and in other nations worldwide.

The content of this post is presented for socio-cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to  Vishnu Bisram who wrote this letter and thanks to Stabroek News for printing it and publishing it online.
-snip-
Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2021/04/the-changing-connotations-of-use-of.html for the closely related pancocojams post entitled "
Auntie" Or Terms That Translate To "Auntie" In India & The Evolving Negative Connotations Of The Word "Auntie" In India".

****
REPRINT OF LETTER TO THE EDITOR ABOUT 'AUNTIE' AND 'UNCLE'

[Printed in Stabroek News,  February 13, 2016]

"Dear Editor,

I often hear outsiders say that Guyanese and Trinis have more ‘aunts and uncles’ than anyone else on the globe. It is because people in both societies (and probably Suriname as well) tend to refer to elders by the endearing ‘Aunty’ or ‘Uncle’ rather than by their names or as Mr and Ms.

I travel extensively around the globe and from my findings, the terms Aunty and Uncle apparently were introduced and institutionalized in the Caribbean by the indentured Indian labourers, because in societies where there aren’t large numbers of Indians, the terms are not commonly used.

Among Indian communities worldwide, Aunty and Uncle are commonly used to refer to elders even if they are not relatives. They are used all over India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Nepal, even in government offices. The terms are used in Fiji, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, Mauritius, etc where there are large communities of Indians. I heard them used by Indians to address complete strangers, as in Guyana, in places like Australia and New Zealand and in North America, UK, Barbados, Jamaica, Grenada, and Guadeloupe. When I first visited Australia in 1995, there were hardly any Indians. But by 2015, there were large communities of Indians among whom Aunty and Uncle are in common us as well as ethnic kinship terms (Cha Cha, Cha Chi, etc) to refer to blood or marriage relatives.

In Trinidad, as in Guyana, while Aunty and Uncle are used, I heard non-Indians refer to others as ‘Mister’ and ‘Missus’. Some Indians also used Mister and Miss to refer to fellow Indians they are not familiar with, but in general Indians tend to use the more endearing Aunty and Uncle. In Guyana, Indians in rural areas tend to refer to some non-Indians as Aunty and Uncle and rural Africans also use the terms to refer to some Indians in their communities among whom they grew up, as well as fellow Africans.

In Durban and other parts of South Africa, Aunty and Uncle are commonly used among Indians along with their ethnic kinship terms. Some Blacks who live in Indian communities also follow Indians and use Aunty and Uncle in referring to older Indians.

In Fiji, the Black Fijians also refer to older Indians as Aunty and Uncle. The same is true in Mauritius where Creoles (local Blacks, Mixed and French) who live among Indian communities follow suit. In Australia, I heard some Whites, who regularly socialize with Indians among whom I interacted, refer to elderly Indians as Uncle and Aunty as well. Ditto in New Zealand! But in the mainstream, Whites in Australia and New Zealand use Mr and Ms to refer to others (regardless of age) as a mark of respect as is the norm in North America and Europe.

The interesting finding in my travels, is that in North America and Europe the Indians persist with using Aunty and Uncle to refer to older folks. In British Columbia and in Los Angeles and San Francisco among Fijian Indians, ethnic kinship terms and Aunt and Uncle are commonly used. Youngsters in San Francisco called me uncle at a store. And Hindus in their temple surroundings or in a community relationship, whether in New York, Florida, San Francisco or Dallas use Bhai and Bahin to describe those in their age group. Some Indians use Mai and Pai as well as Cha Chi and Cha Cha, Nani and Nana, Mamu and Mami to refer to those much older than them even when there is no blood relationship. It is all done out of respect for the elderly or for fellow humans. A visit at a West Indian temple in Brixton, London found Bhai and Bahin commonly used to refer to each other as is the custom in America

 Among Indians it is considered disrespectful not to refer to someone much older than yourself as Aunty or Uncle even in societies like the US. However, at the workplace, Mr and Ms are routinely used.

Yours faithfully,

Vishnu Bisram"

****
Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome. 


"Auntie" Or Terms That Translate To "Auntie" In India & The Evolving Negative Connotations Of The Word "Auntie" In India

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post presents an excerpt of a 2019 article by Vikram Doctor entitled "The evolution of 'auntie', from a respectful greeting to an annoying title".

This post also presents selected comments from a qu
ora.com discussion thread about the use of the referent "Auntie" or translated terms that mean "auntie" in India.

Both of these online sources notes that in India the word 'Auntie' may refer to women who aren't necessarily biologically related to the person using that term, and may also have negative connotations regarding that person's age and/or physical appearance.

The content of this post is presented for socio-cultural purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to Virkram Doctor for writing this article and thanks to all those who are quoted in this post from that quora.com discussion thread.
-snip-
Click https://pancocojams.blogspot.com/2021/04/reprint-of-2016-stabroek-news-letter-to.html for the closely related pancocojams post entitled "
Reprint Of A 2016 Stabroek News Letter To The Editor About The Use Of The Terms "Auntie" And "Uncle" In The Caribbean & In Some Other Nations Worldwide".

****
ARTICLE EXCERPT

From https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/the-evolution-of-auntie-from-a-respectful-greeting-to-an-annoying-title/articleshow/67392267.cms?from=mdr "The evolution of 'auntie', from a respectful greeting to an annoying title"
Vikram Doctor, Last Updated: Jan 05, 2019

…"Auntie has long been an awkward term. In Rupert Christiansen’s quirky study, The Complete Book of Aunts, he notes that in addition to insinuating age, it often adds layers of class and race. Vikram Doctor reports.

Christiansen writes that the Oxford English Dictionary records ‘auntie’ as used for African-American women, perhaps slightly older servants, like Mammy in Gone With the Wind.

In 1984 the Times of India (ToI) noted a similar usage in communist China where ‘auntie’ meant a maidservant. The superficial respect presumably concealed an inequality of work that was at odds with communist ideology: “Senior party officials have, of course, long had the benefit of domestic help, but today others can apply for aunties at the newly set up Housework Service Co.”

The Indian usage of auntie has evolved rather differently. Before it took on the slightly mocking tone given to it today, auntie managed to combine both respect and familiarity. Far from being used downwards, it was used where respect was required, but not the level of formality which demanded a word like ‘ma’am’. Christiansen quotes one view that it emerged when “middle and upper-middle class children who go to English medium schools address their friends’ mothers as Auntie.”

[…]

At the start of his book Christiansen notes that the basic term, aunt, is not that universal: “not all languages have bothered to develop a single word to describe a mother’s or father’s sister.” Many languages, as with many in India, developed different terms for maternal and paternal relatives in order to make clear the different community obligations or duties that attached to them: all the variants of dada-dadi, kaka-kaki, phua-phuphi and so on.

Christiansen quotes the anthropologist Jack Goody to explain how undifferentiated terminology of aunt and uncle “developed first in the late Roman Empire, then spread through the Romance languages, reaching England with the Norman Conquest.” This delinking from specific family linkages freed aunts to become aunties, older ladies who were addressed with some respect, but also some intimacy.

It was this balance, combined with the specifically English origin, that expanded the usage in India. Auntie could be used in contexts where an Indian term would have been inappropriate, since the family linkage didn’t exist, or a bit too intimate, as with simpler terms like behenji, didi, akka or edathi, all broadly meaning elder sister.

As Nergis Dalal noted, writing in ToI in 1987, about how servants and delivery boys were increasingly using auntie and uncle: “Perhaps the use of those two words offers a passport from one human to another – an easy accessibility producing the feeling of social equality.” Viewed this way the ascent of uncle and auntie is a positive step away from the Rajera obsequiousness of sahib and memsahib.

Dalal also suggests where the change has come from. When she admonishes her servant girl for calling a neighbour ‘uncle’ “she looked at me bewildered: ‘But everyone says it,’ she said, ‘even on TV. What does it mean?’” When Dalal explains it means chacha “she was aghast. She certainly wouldn’t dream of addressing the doctor as ‘chacha’ but uncle was an English word, incomprehensible, culturally endorsed and transcending all class barriers, making her feel more like the people she watches on television.

[…]

The use of auntie as a respectfully friendly term shows how we can use a word from a different language to help us make connections that our native tongues might have constrained."...

****
COMMENTS FROM QUORA.COM DISCUSSION THREAD: 
From https://www.quora.com/What-are-auntys-as-referred-to-in-Indian-culture
What are auntys as referred to in Indian culture?

1. Shekhar Chitnis, lived in India (1961-1980), Answered August 27, 2018

"In most Indian languages there are specific names for specific relations. For example, in Hindi, a typical “Aunt, or Aunty” of the western culture can be Chachi (father’s brother’s wife), Mami (Mother’s brother’s wife), Bua (Father’s sister), Maushi (Mother’s sister), etc. By the way there are corresponding names for male counterparts as well — Chacha, Mama, etc.

Originally, (don’t know when this started but I would assume first ¾ of the 20th century) the term Aunty was usually used by relatively more westernized, middle class, educated Indians for friends of mother (and corresponding “uncle” for father’s friends). The “flock” of mother’s friends then collectively became aunties. In other words, earlier it took a village (and real uncles and aunts) to raise nephews and nieces, and now with geographically mobile urban nuclear families, it still takes a village, but now with friends of parents becaming the surrogate uncles and aunts. As some mentioned, despite modernization, respect for elders is still and ingrained value in the culture, so uncle and aunty is not just an honorific, but also imparts the elders with a “right and duty” to guide, discipline and protect the young.

This, to date, remains the main context for the use of word “Aunty”.

Having said that, similar to Bertie Wooster’s aunts in the books by P.G. Woodhouse’s, Indian aunts are associated with stereotype behaviors and traits typical of Indian aunts too — nosy, noisy, intrusive, gossipy, overweight, catty, etc. — all in good fun.

Today, with the democratization of the society and increased Anglicization of language — Aunty and Uncle have also become a more generic way of addressing older people. A trend, arguably, encouraged by older people who would prefer to be called uncle and aunt instead of grandpa and grandma.

So I am “uncle” to scores of “nieces and nephews” - not just my friend’s kids, but my kid’s friends as well as many young students, who I come across when I speak at panels at various forums.

**
Reply
2. Rudy Ti, December 27, 2018
"People call girls aunty to make fun of their age as girl who 25 to 30 is an aunty but boys who are 25 to 45 would still be called as bhaiya.Aunty is not a respectable term anymore.its is used to show girls that they are old .Sometimes boys would hit on her and if she doesn't respond positively then they will call her aunty.They try to point out that she is no longer beautiful."

**
3. Sankrant Sanu, An Indian and American with interest in cross-cultural studies, Updated July 13, 2020
"Indian culture has had a very nuanced understanding of relationships. Every familial relationship has a distinct name. For instance in the North mama would be mother's brother, mausi would be mother's sister. Chacha for father's younger brother, tau for father's older brother, jethani for husband's older brother's wife, devarani for husband's younger brother's wife and so on.

Like Eskimos are said to have 70 words for snow because they had such a nuanced and close relationship with it, so it was for Indian relationships.

With anglicization and Westernization much of the nuance started getting lost. So Aunty (from Aunt) started standing for all female relatives of the mother's generation and then even parent's friends and then for any mother-aged woman. Further taking from the West where middle-aged meant less desirable and women's worth being measured in sexual desirability, Aunty is also now also use pejoratively for someone “past their prime" in terms of desirability. Another equivalent, used by the social class structure in India which uses English as an elite marker is “behenji.” This is used pejoratively from a non-English speaking or traditional girl from a rural/semi-rural background who is not fluently English-speaking and thus not “cool” or desirable.

**
4. Vivek Braganza, lives in India, Updated August 9, 2020
"Short answer: any biologically unrelated female, of a generation preceding your own. Alternatively, a mild insult often implying advanced age.

Long answer: Indian culture emphasizes family relationships, and the ‘joint family' system is quite prevalent here. Tradition values respect for ‘elders', generally anyone older - hence perceived to be wiser - than oneself. Most Indian languages have nouns for very specific relationships, here are some examples from Hindi, the lingua franca of India -

Parents: Maa, Papa. Honorific Mata, Pita (note the similarity to other PIEProto-Indo-European language - Wikipedia derived languages).

Paternal grandparents: Dada, dadi

Maternal grandparents: Nana, Nani

Father's elder brother, his wife: Taya, Tai

Father's younger brother, his wife: Chacha, chachi

Father's sister, her husband: Bua, phupha

Mother's sister, her husband: Mausi, mausa

Mother's brother, his wife: Mama, Mami

Sister, her husband: Didi, jija (usually for elder sister's husband)

Brother's son, daughter: Bhatija, bhatiji

Sister's son, daughter: Bhanja, bhanji

And so on. They say every culture has the widest lexicon for what really matters to them. Where a westerner would have words to describe the immediate 'nuclear' family, perhaps till the level of 'cousins', much of the above wouldn't have cultural value, as the social construct tends to be more individualistic than it is in South Asia.

Perhaps this longish answer helps point out, that a cultured Indian, from a ‘good family', would address people out of their immediate family - as Aunty and Uncle. This is done as a sign of respect, and establishing status in the interaction (even before interacting, each person already knows where their perceived place in the social hierarchy).

This isn't unique to India, and tends to be prevalent where family values are strong.

On the flip side, the term can be used as a mild perjorative. For example, “that schoolmate of ours is so unfashionable, she's such an Aunty, no"? "...

**
5. 
Marshall E. Gass, Answered July 22, 2020
..."Two days ago I asked my manager in India what ‘aunty’ really meant. It sort of exploded in my face.


I now understand that ‘Aunty’ is used as a derogatory term for a female with loose morals and easily available for sexual activities. Apparently, the first time it was used to denote these permissive traits was from movies in Southern India."...

**
6. 
Sonal Bavadekar,Answered March 12, 2020 [lives in India]
"Originally Answered: What are people from India referring to when they say “auntie”?

Actually in the Indian culture there are 2 types of people who are called auntie.

One is my mother or father’s sister, my uncle’s wife or the wife of any male relative/family friend or an acquaintance.

Also an aunt could be an older person who is addressed as Sarika (her name) aunty because in our culture we are taught not to adress people older than us with their names alone. it signifies somebody older and mature and isn’t always taken in the right spirit by many.

It’s a constant joke amongst young women in their 20’s and 30’s who are single or without a child who abhor being addressed as an aunty, which goes like - “auntie mat kaho na (please don’t address me as an aunty)”. :D"

**
7. Shrishti Rajput, [lives in India], Answered June 24, 2020
"I can't talk on behalf of other Indians but for me it's a term I have used only for women/men who were married and known and older. Even as kid it was taught to me to not call everyone and anyone an aunt or uncle. The requisite was if I can see typical Hindu managalutra or sindoor on head.S he might be aunty yet if she appears younger I won't call her aunty may be didi (sis) .

However in recent times kids studying in well off schools ,call anyone or everyone an aunty/uncle. Dont be surprised if in Mumbai even roadside shopkeeper with gray hair and bald head calls you an aunty or uncle. I guess the word is nowadays used more like a taunt for someone who looks old or I am not sure what!!! Because people have been going old in India for ages. But we never called uncle or aunt etc.We in North use Didi ,bhaiya more frequently (sis and bro for unmarried or married ).Even the word miss or mam for girls.

 Do not even know where that's steming from. May be they think aunty means something else. Educated parents/teachers teaching kids otherwise is beyond me.

**
8. Harsha Kumar, [lives in India] Answered June 11, 2020
"Could be any woman who is older than you by at least 10 years. But to be used only if you yourself are young, as in less than 30.

 If you are 30 plus, you should call someone ‘aunty’ only if she is related to you, i.e., she is actually your aunt, or, say mother-in-law etc. Or maybe an old family friend.

You should NOT call someone ‘aunty’ if:

 You are more than 30 years old, and you don’t know the older woman well

The woman in question is only a little older than you

When in doubt, ‘madam’ or ‘maam’ is always safer, and much more dignified.

I have seen that sometimes people, more commonly in North India, call even relatively younger women ‘aunty.’ It signifies being old-fashioned, not being well-dressed, being ‘unsexy’ etc. It is demeaning, disrespectful, and crass, I am sorry to say, in a very North Indian way. Don’t do it."

**
9.
Ritesh Kumar, studied at R.G.U.H.S Bangalore Karnataka (2005), Answered March 11, 2020
"Originally Answered: What are people from India referring to when they say “auntie”?

Auntie is word used mostly by small children’s or teenagers as they are not allowed to call names of elder ones. It’s a kind of respect.

 Auntie word is also referred to old persons as a kind of respect.

 for teasing purpose similar age group people in there 30s use this word.

 it’s like you are looking like a auntie. Here auntie referred to as some what fat, matured and tough face texture lady.

**
10. 
Sadhana Jayaram ,Updated March 25, 2020, [lives in India]
"In India adults are not addressed by names. So the unrelated people, like neighbors, parents' friends ( sometimes even strangers) are addressed respectfully as aunty and uncle. Mostly children and teenagers do this.

In recent times, aunty has become sort of a derogatory word too. In India, asking intrusive questions is not supposed to be rude, especially by elders. But western manners are taking hold strongly and youngsters resent this questioning and unabashed curiosity about their personal lives. So the middle aged women who poke their nose into their matters are sometimes disdainfully referred to as aunties."

**
11. 
Prem Chandran John, Answered July 15, 2020, [lives in India]
"Auntys are middle aged, middle class women whose primary occupation is to interfere in the lives of people around them, mainly students, both Male and female, younger relatives, those who have got their mark sheets, those who date, those who dress too well or shabbily - in fact in every facet of life of those around them. Mostly harness but also malicious often."

-snip-
"Harness" is a typo for "harmless".

****

Thanks for visiting pancocojams.

Visitor comments are welcome.