1945: Race, South Africa and Coke

I honestly don’t know if this is a racially insensitive Coke ad from 1945, or if I’m just being utterly paranoid enough to think that possibly it is.

The soldiers are all white and sharing Coke, but the black South Africans in the back are wearing some sort of horns and native dress and are not drinking Coke. I don’t know. What do you guys think?

Next post at 6 p.m.

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3 Responses to 1945: Race, South Africa and Coke

  1. Bob says:

    I think you are judging a 65 year-old ad by using standards you have for yourself today. I didn’t see anything particularly racially insensitive in the ad. There was a World War going on at the time and I think Coke was just showing that they were a part of it, in a good way.

  2. Avatar of Kari Lucin Kari Lucin says:

    Well yes, clearly it wasn’t considered racist then.

    The Globe actually seemed to be pretty good about race issues, judging from the selected AP coverage of civil rights issues back in 1960.

    However, just in the past couple of years, the picture of then-presidential-candidate Obama in a similar costume to the ones shown in the ad was considered highly racist.

  3. russell leewood says:

    my comment is late, but readers should notice that the picture shows a rickshaw. the costume of rickshaw-man was quasi-zulu,with horns and fur.nothing racist about at all

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