Most people my age have seen the film Forrest Gump. This Tom Hanks classic was dubbed “the ’60s for dummies” by my high school social studies teacher, and it really is all that and more. The film is historical fiction at its best. It takes the fictional character of Forrest and thrusts him into important historical events during the ’60s and ’70s. Its an overall great film and a must watch if you haven’t seen it. Actually, if you haven’t seen the film, then you should watch it before reading this article because it contains SPOILERS! Now, on to the theory that will blow your minds. Forrest Gump’s father was a Black man, making Forrest a biracial man, unknowingly passing as White. Bare with me as I have a plethora of evidence to back up my claim.
He Was Different
Mrs. Gump always insisted on telling Forrest that he was no different than the other boys and girls. Yet, almost everyone in the film claimed that he was. The film leads you to believe that it is because he has a low IQ, but this is clearly misdirection. The principle brings up his IQ in addition to him being “different”. Clearly, certain people in town knew or had suspicions of the boy’s biracial status. Mrs. Gump wanted Forrest to go to a normal school with normal children in the town. Meaning that she wanted him to go to a Whites only school, which was better than a school for Colored children. Being biracial, Forrest would not be allowed to attend school with White children due to segregation in the South.
An Absent Father
We never find out what actually happened for Forrest’s father. In the beginning, Mrs. Gump lets us know that Forrest’s dad is never coming back. She repeatedly states that “he’s on vacation” to everyone who asks. This leads me to believe that Forrest’s father was either a Black man who passed through town, stayed at the house, slept with Mrs. Gump and then left; or even sadder, he was lynched for being in a relationship with a White woman; or both. During this time in the South, it wasn’t uncommon for black people to be lynched, especially for fornicating with White people. While Mrs. Gump may have come from a racist family, we are led to believe she was different. Examples of this include: her healthy relationship with her maid Louise, her thinking of how silly the Ku Klux Klan was, and her acceptance of other peoples and cultures.
His Natural Dancing Ability
Now, I’m getting into stereotyping, but these are still valid points. We saw that Forrest had the natural ability to dance. Black people are known for having rhythm. Even with leg braces on, Forrest could move his hips to Elvis’ tune on the guitar. If he didn’t get into sports, then he would have had a nice future ahead of him in showbusiness.
His Natural Athletic Ability
You all knew this one was coming. This was a given because Forrest was a college football star! As the starting running back for the Alabama Crimson Tide football team, he was untouchable. His speed was unrivaled and allowed for him to become a First Team All-American! Playing sports was a good way for black people to get into college in the ’60s, and this fact helps solidify my theory. Without his natural athletic ability, he probably wouldn’t have been accepted into the University of Alabama. #RollTide
Let’s not forget that he was also a ping pong champion! While serving in the U.S. Army, Forrest became a member of the All-American ping pong team. Once again showing off his natural athletic prowess against those who some would say perfected the sport. We are led to believe that he was unbeatable during his time playing this sport as well.
Embracing His Roots
Forrest had no problem associating with Black people at any point in the film. His best friend, Benjamin Buford “Bubba” Blue, was Black. He had no problem helping a young Vivian Malone with her books when she was allowed to attend the University of Alabama. He had no problem keeping his promise to Bubba’s family about their shrimping boat company. Also, we see him regularly attending a Black church during his days as a shrimping boat Captain in Louisiana. Lastly, not once do we here him use a racial slur against any person of color, despite hearing the vernacular many times from his peers and elders.
He Doesn’t Age
They say “Black don’t crack” and clearly Forrest didn’t get a single wrinkle during the 38 year span of his life depicted in the film. He looks the same at 38 as he did when he was a teenager. I know, I know, it’s a film. I realize Robert Zemeckis wanted Tom Hanks to play him throughout his entire life, but they could have aged him up with makeup if they wanted. They knew that most Black people do not show signs of aging until their mid-50s, if not later.
Please watch this film again, and tell me if you think I’m crazy! It makes sense, if you really think about it.