For the second time in a week, the NBC drama Little House on the Prairie, which hasn’t been broadcast in almost four decades, became a hot topic on Twitter. The name of the beloved drama, along with that of its creator and star Michael Landon (who died of cancer in 1991) and Todd Bridges, who played the character of Solomon, rolled over the weekend after a fan noticed how far ahead of his time the series was.
The Little Prairie House operated from 1974 to 1983 and was based on the popular Laura Ingalls Wilder children’s book series. She told the story of her family’s struggle with life on the border at the end of the 19th century.
Would you rather be black and alive 100, or white and alive 50?
This series of scenes from Little House on the Prairie is the reason why @ToddBridges and #Michael Landon is a trend. Unbelievable. This program was broadcasted on television from 1974 to 1983. (To add context: #Roots was published in 1977) https://t.co/lk4QHrNVmS.
– Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) 3. May 2020.
The 18th. Episode of the third season, The Wisdom of Solomon, which came out on the 28th. First broadcast on February 2, 1977, it tells the story of a boy named Solomon Henry (11 years old, guest star of the bridge), son of former slaves who became shareholders of the Mississippi. After his father’s death he fled to Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and sought refuge with Charles Ingalls (Landon) and his family.
In fact, Solomon offers to sell himself to the Ingal family in exchange for his education. Ingalls offered him a room and board and enrolled him at a local school. On a task where children are asked what they don’t like, Solomon says he doesn’t like being black.
In the end Carl Solomon confesses why he ran away from home, and the boy tells him he’s tired of everyone treating him differently because he’s black. He says he died young because of the color of his father’s skin and wishes another fate.
I loved that show. Michael Landon wasn’t afraid to go straight. I admired it. Great loss when he died of cancer. I think I need time to sit down and watch the repetition. Thank you for sharing this clip. I forgot how good Todd Bridges is at this.
– the highest desserts (@highdesertresi1) 3. May 2020.
The episode – set in the 1880s – uses terms that are not politically correct, but Carl convinces Solomon that he should be proud of who he is and go home to his family.
But for the happy ending, young Solomon Charles asks if you’d rather be black and live to be 100, or white and live to be 50?
In the end, Solomon Charles taught an important lesson, and a tweeter was so surprised at Landon’s progressive approach to the issue of racism and white privilege that he gave him an excerpt of the episode. Landon was not only the creator and protagonist of the series, but also the writer and director of several episodes.
I can’t believe the 1980s TV show fought so fiercely and honestly against racism. Appropriate use of the N-word. Wow. The props for the very young @ToddBridges 4 play these scenes so well. And also the late Michael Landon. He probably wrote/guided this episode. Watch this video. It’s powerful. https://t.co/HEGb5DWL99.
– Kenny boy! (@KwikWarren) 1. May 2020
Writer, executive producer and director Michael Landon tried to shed light on a subject that many hadn’t raised in the past – one fan wrote, another added: If you’re wondering who Todd Bridges is and why he’s in fashion, take a look at this classic clip from his childhood. UPGRADE.
Earlier this week, Little House on the Prairie was in vogue on Twitter because of the quarantine and the plague episodes that were awfully similar to the current pandemic, even though they were broadcast more than 40 years ago.
All nine seasons of Little Prairie House are available on Amazon Prime.