William "Billie" Thomas, Jr., child actor. He is best remembered for portraying the character of "Buckwheat" ("O-tay!") in the Our Gang (aka Little Rascals) short films from 1934-1944. Although the character he played was often the subject of controversy in later years for containing elements of the "pickaninny" stereotype, he always defended his work, pointing out that Buckwheat and the rest of the black kids were treated as equals to the white kids in the series. R.I.P.
William (Billie) Thomas (3/12/1930 - 10/10/1980) played Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) comedy shorts from 1934 to 1944, and was the only cast member to appear in all 52 of the films produced by MGM after the studio obtained rights from Hal Roach in 1938. Thomas served in the Korean War and returned to a career in Hollywood working behind the scenes as a technical editor. #TodayInBlackHistory
Billie “Buckwheat” Thomas (1931-1980) African American child actor that played the character of Buckwheat in the Our Gang (Little Rascals) short films from 1934 until the series’ end in 1944. Although the character he played was often the subject of controversy in later years for containing elements of the “pickaninny” stereotype, Thomas always defended his work in the series, pointing out that Buckwheat and the rest of the black Our Gang kids were treated as equals to the white kids in the…
Sho-We-Tit (Billy Thomas), a Caddo man photographed by Joseph Dixon on June 21, 1913 at Anadarko, Oklahoma. This extraordinary portrait was taken on an expedition funded by Philadelphia businessman and philanthropist Rodman Wanamaker. Dixon and his assistants presented American flags to Indian tribes across the country. The expedition was intended to promote loyalty to the United States and document the "vanishing Indian race." Courtesy William Mathers Museum, Indiana University.