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Yankees dump Kate Smith's 'God Bless America'

(New York Daily) The Yankees have taken a stand against racism for their seventh-inning stretch.

For 18 years, Yankee Stadium regularly used Kate Smith’s 1939 recording of “God Bless America” in the middle of the seventh inning. But they ditched it altogether this season, replacing Smith’s rendition with different versions of the song. Why? As the Daily News learned, the Yankee were made aware of Smith’s history of potential racism.

Smith was a famous singer before and during WWII who recorded the offensive jingle, “Pickaninny Heaven,” which she directed at “colored children” who should fantasize about an amazing place with “great big watermelons,” among other treats. She shot a video for that song that takes place in an orphanage for black children, and much of the imagery is startlingly racist. She also recorded, “That’s Why Darkies Were Born,” which included the lyrics, “Someone had to pick the cotton. … That’s why darkies were born.”