Entertainment "A cowboy in the cotton": Lucky Luke confronted with the racism of the plantations of the south of the United States

12:15  23 october  2020
12:15  23 october  2020 Source:   francetvinfo.fr

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Lucky Luke is a French-German-American animated television series based on the comic book series of the same name created by Morris. The series lasted for 26 episodes, and co-produced by Hanna-Barbera, Gaumont, Extrafilm and FR3.

The tidewater aristocrats were the fortunate few who lived in stately plantation manors with hundreds of servants and slaves at their beck and call. Most plantation owners took an active part in the operations of the business. Surely they found time for leisurely activities like hunting, but on a daily

"A cowboy in the cotton" is the third collaboration between Achdé - the designer - and Jul - the screenwriter . This time the duo immerses us in the south of the United States where the Ku Klux Klan dictates its law at the end of the 19th century.

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With Un cow-boy dans le coton, the authors Jul and Achdé have decided to tackle the theme of slavery. A first, since until then Lucky Luke had only crossed New Orleans for 5 pages in the album Going up the Mississippi published in… 1961.

In this new story, Lucky Luke inherits a large plantation of cotton in Louisiana. But the cowboy has no intention of settling down as a landowner and decides to redistribute the land to black farmers just freed from slavery who worked on the estate.

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Ironically, the man who would make cotton king was born to a Massachusetts farmer. Almost immediately after graduating from Yale University, Eli Whitney traveled south . While staying at the Savannah plantation of Mrs. Nathanael Green in 1792, the widow of the Revolutionary War general

Located along the Mississippi River, it is the largest city in Louisiana and one of the largest inland ports in the United States .New Orleans is a true It is one of the most unique and beautiful of all the old plantation homes. Nottaway was built in 1859 for wealthy sugar tycoon John Hampden Randolph and

Ku klux Klan

In this generous enterprise, Lucky Luke has to face the Ku Klux Klan and the large white landowners among whom racism is still deeply rooted. For once he can count on the help of the Dalton brothers but also on the support of Bass Reeves, the first African-American appointed deputy marshal west of the Mississippi. The character really existed, it's a tradition in Lucky Luke's albums to introduce us to often overlooked faces in American history.

Un cowboy dans le coton is the third collaboration between Achdé - the designer - and Jul - the screenwriter - after The Promised Land in 2016 which evoked the emigration of Jews from Eastern Europe to the United States and Un cowboy in Paris in 2018.

A serious subject that echoes

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This article was published in 2017. People think they know everything about slavery in the United States , but they don’t. They think the majority of African slaves came to the American colonies, but they didn’t. They talk about 400 years of slavery, but it wasn’t.

The production of cotton brought the South more firmly into the larger American and Atlantic markets. About 75% of the cotton produced in the United States was Painting depicting a cotton plantation in Mississippi. In the foreground, a wagon carrying bales of cotton is being driven by a black man.

Since the creation of Lucky Luke by Morris in 1946, the adventures of the solitary cowboy have often been the occasion to tackle social themes. Jessie James (1969) dealt with the cowardice of crowds; The Rivals of Painful Gulch (1961), family blood feuds; Le Pied Tendre (1967), about integration. But this time the authors tackle a particularly difficult subject. It is therefore difficult to strike a balance between the parody of Western to which the reader - young and old alike - is accustomed and the evocation of the terrible plight of African Americans in the southern United States during the second half of the 19th century.

The authors succeed in the exercise by abandoning certain gimmicks of the series which could give the impression that the subject - serious - is only a pretext for fun: few celebrity caricatures that Morris and Goscinny loved, for example. . But the buffoonish interventions of the Dalton add some light moments to this poignant story. The Dalton who remain convinced until the end of the adventure that the Cajuns are Mexicans and that the Ku Klux Klan is an Indian tribe.

A timeless hero

A cowboy in cotton is Lucky Luke's 81st album. It would almost make you dizzy to imagine that the lone hero is already 74 years old, and that he was born in a world totally different from ours, post-war France. Yet Jul and Achdé show us that Lucky Luke is timeless.

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