Jennifer Wilks is an associate professor of English and African and African Diaspora Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. She’s written a piece for xojane about the upcoming remake of Little Orphan Annie starring African American child acress Quvenzhané (Kwah-Vin-Jah-Nay) Wallis. She reminds us of Carmen Jones (from the 1943 musical and 1954 film) who, like Quvenzhané’s Annie, surpassed the original literary musical context in which she was born. She also shares her dream of creating a Little AfroAnnie for Black girls:
“I saved up my allowance to buy the soundtrack on vinyl, I was Annie for Halloween, and, when the touring version of the Broadway show came to my hometown, I begged my parents to go. My fandom reached a fever pitch when I came up with the idea for a new adaptation of my beloved musical: “Little AfroAnnie.” Inspired by Annie’s transition from straight to curly hair, I took the next step and dared to reimagine her as a little black girl.”
I was a freshman in high school when Annie was remade for my generation. It starred Albert Finney as Daddy Warbucks, Carol Burnett as Miss Hannigan and Aileen Quinn as Annie.
As a first-wave Gen-Xer, I was too old for all the Annie branded merchandise like these lunch boxes, but I loved the film! It was one of only two movies my father ever took me to see. I was raised Nazarene and back in the 1980s, the Church of the Nazarene still forbid members to see movies. My dad was pastoring at the time, but he drove me 75 miles outside of the town where he preached so I could see Annie.
Annie Target Dress
I can’t wait to see the new Annie movie, which opens Friday. It’s an Annie for Generation Z! Last night, I bought this Annie dress at Target for my little girl Bridgette. If you’re wondering why it looks so different from the classic Annie dress, click here to read See That Red Dress From Annie. Did you know the only time the color red appears in the movie is when Annie puts on this dress?
Target is also selling this sweet locket. They’re out of stock online, but are still available in several stores around OKC.
Tracy of Seaside Enchantment blog posted this picture of herself from 1983. She’s wearing a Little Orphan Annie dress her mother made her and a locket. What a swell mom she had. Sweet stuff, my friends.