The original version of Disney's classic "Fantasia" featured a character called Sunflower, a little black centaur handmaiden. Sunflower was an extremely insulting caricature, a blithely racist stereotype of the "servile grinning nigger" variety. Her sole function in the film was to eagerly polish and shine the hooves of the tall, sexy Aryan centaur women who glared down their petite noses at this scuttling servant whenever she got underfoot in her haste to make Mistress pretty.
Of course you've seen Fantasia, you know that the Aryan centaurs end up meeting a bunch of hot equally Aryan centaur boys and, presumably, getting it on to make cute Aryan centaur babies. But what becomes of Sunflower? Well, here's the answer: she's eliminated.
When the racial climate of America changed in the 60s, the portrayal of such insulting stereotypes in movies and television became politically incorrect, and Disney (fearing accusations of racism) deleted Sunflower from Fantasia for the theatrical re-release of the film. Her troubling presence was simply cropped out of the movie (though you can still see the Aryans she was pampering).
Disney has reportedly gone as far as to deny such a character ever existed at all--but on the Internet, NOTHING
can be hidden from the world
This is how we deal with our ugly past: we deny it, trivialize it, gloss over it with pretty distractions and wishful thinking. Doing so, we deny ourselves a glimpse of the compelling reality of naked history, warts and all. The well-meaning rush to unmake evil deeds by hiding them from the critical eye of modern sensibilities does nothing to honor the people who lived and struggled in those different times.
Her existence may be news to generations of Disney fans, but she's been here all along, waiting patiently offscreen for us to acknowledge her, and the American past that created her.
And so, this is not a fanart. It's a little wishful thinking of my own.
This is my
Sunflower, who never served a mistress.