OUR GANG/LITTLE RASCALS Otay! The Billy Buckwheat Thomas Story VIDEO

William Thomas, the man known as "Buckwheat," one of the most beloved characters in the history of the Our Gang and Little Rascals films, rose from obscurity to become an American icon. Billy's heritage grew to be more than the ninety-three comedies in which he appeared as Buckwheat. He was a husband, father, and soldier. Several generations have come to know Buckwheat as if he was a real person, but few knew Billy, the man behind the myth.

In "Otay!" The Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas Story, William Thomas, Jr., Billy's son, joins with acclaimed author David W. Menefee to brush back the sands of time and unearth the facts beneath the fable. For the first time, the true story is told how producer Hal Roach, Sr. plucked three-year-old Billy from hundreds of children and raised him on a pedestal before an adoring public. For a decade, Billy was the most prominent Black American in motion pictures, but World War Two brought an end to the famous comedy series and a halt to his film career. Billy went on to live a private, nearly normal life, married, fathered an adorable child, and then answered the call to arms and enlisted in the US Army during the Korean War. Years later, imposters attempted to steal his limelight, but Billy forgave the offense with his characteristic, childlike good humor.

In an era when most Black American actors were struggling to gain a foothold in Hollywood, Billy achieved a lasting legacy. Enjoy the timeless tale of a baby superstar, who once shone brightly on movie screens during Hollywood's "Golden Years" and still fascinates audiences today.

Visit for the full-length hardback copy of this book.
Print and Kindle editions can also be found on Amazon.
The book can also be ordered through your favorite bookstore. ISBN-10: 1593932073
ISBN-13: 978-1593932077.

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Author Kimberly K Anderson (4 months)
Always enjoyed watching these kids and still do in my old age. Hal Roach, I
salute you!!

Author Themaddprof (5 months)
Its important that critics of the Buckwheat character and the Little
Rascals in general on grounds of race (aside from some really ugly moments
with Farina during the silent era) should know that Ernie Morrison
(Sunshine Sammy in the silent era),Eugene Jackson (Pineapple in the
silents), Allen Hoskins (Farina), Matthew Beard (Stymie), and William
Thomas have all said nothing but kind things about their roles in these
films and of producer Hal Roach.

Author Michael Klein (7 months)
The thing about Buckwheat on the "Rascals" was: nobody was fooling
Buckwheat, nor was he fooling them, either! He also had a way of stealing
scenes just seemingly standing there! Thanks for this nice tribute to a
talented star.

Author Shafik Ismail (6 months)
Otay Buckwheat!

Author Lynn Birli (5 months)
Otay Buh wheet

Author ChUcK DeEzUl (4 months)

Author Katiaaponte APonte (1 year)
old fahsion

Author allhamoongod (1 year)
Thumbs up.

Author cecee chisolm (1 year)

Author ShoNuffDC (2 years)
Wow! I never knew any of that. Very interesting and thanks for putting it
out here to be seen.

Author mgunde (2 years)
wow, nice story, I grew up watching the Little Rascals in the 60's they
were the best, and I just loved Buckwheat, such an inspiration to me, I
made the clubhouse, I had go-cart races down the street, so much fun,
thanks for the memories.

Author veeseee128 (1 year)
If it wasnt for eddie murphy I dont think buckwheat would be as popular as
he is now.

Author Ken Riccio poems (2 years)
Thanks king world and opra also bill cosby for destroying history along
with the most famous actor BUCKQUEATin the little rascals really
fucked up history deletingall the great parts of the one and only
buckqueat,over what you think is race thing...this is the great danger of
money and power...having the juice to change something when you have no
clue what you are doing at all....king,opra,and cosby you suck.....

Author imaniw84 (2 years)
Not a lot of people know the origination

Author BestMusicalOnBroadway (3 years)
What fun to learn about the man behind the star. Leave it to author David
Menefee to research and right a gripping biography of one of the best loved
members of the little rascals.

Author ringearner (3 years)
The book is absolutely incredible and we can't wait to add the audio to our
collection as well. Definitely a must to any little rascal fans collection.

Author Themaddprof (2 years)
This really has me smiling from ear to ear. God bless Buckwheat and all of
the Rascals for entertaining me and my father over the generations.

Author thegreatstarsdotcom (1 year)
Thank you for asking. Please see the links listed in the video description.

Author COMPASSION2611 (3 years)
Loved This! Thumbs up across the board!!! Thanks!

Author sbgibbons99 (3 years)
I had the opportunity to read this book recently. If you are a fan of
Buckwheat or Our Gang, this is a must read. Well written and compelling. I
highly recommend it!

Author Brian Adams (1 year)
Ya know, comedy is comedy and if you have some sort of intelligence you'd
understand it's important to laugh and love life and ALL people, granted I
do get sick of the HUMAN RACE as a whole ( but) at the end of the day I
realise people are a necessary evil ( joking) god bless the little rascals
, Abbott & Costello, Jim carrey, three stooges, Richard Pryor, laurel and
hardy, funny dudes

Author A Poet's Corner (1 year)
One of my many childhood INSPIRATIONS. Thanks William Thomas, Jr. Props to
Porky and Spanky too!

Author thegreatstarsdotcom (2 years)
William Thomas, Jr., beloved son of Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas, and co-author
of this book, died on November 30, 2012. May he rest in peace.

Author MEEH JER (2 years)
Oh, by the way TheXtro101, it wasn't Buckwheat that said "otay"... it was
Eugene "Porky " Lee, that coined the phraze. I just thought I'd pass that
piece of info on to you. :-) . Aloha from the 808, to You.

Author Deacon Green (2 years)
I always thought Buckwheat was a 'class act' even though the writers
dumb'ed him. Walking in Midtown Manhattan I was wearing a "Buckwheat"
t-shirt. With the normal shocked look. A young man passed me, gave me the
Evil Eye because of Buckwheat! I'm white the young man was black, we're in
NYC Midtown tension and temps were high and he thought I was making a
racial slur rather than adoration of William 'Billy' Buckwheat Thomas. Bet
he didn't know Billy Thomas was Buckwheat. A great actor/guy.

Author Gwendolyn Stringer (1 year)
So sorry to hear of William Thomas, Jr.'s passing. I just googled
"buckwheat" for "O-tay", reading the comments found out that he didn't
actually coin that phase, but is still known for it. Anyhow, how do I order
the book?

Author thegreatstarsdotcom (1 year)
"Otay!" The Billy "Buckwheat" Thomas Story book is now available in a
Kindle e-book version and an audio book version. Contact
bearmanormediadotcom for more information.

Author Ray Betancourt (1 year)

Author joeyc09 (1 year)
spanky was the most popular by far

Author MattHawes (2 years)

Author 70sgirl1961 (2 years)
I loved this little guy. I STILL love this little guy.

Author John Gulino (1 year)
Beautiful! And he did his his way.

Author MEEH JER (2 years)
You remember that kind of stuff too??!! I used to wear those " Buckwheat "
t-shirts; in high school, friends used to call Me "Buckwheat ", plus, I
have the same hairstyle, especially til this day, only this time, they
don't call Me Buckwheat.....they now call Me Jonny Phoenixx-THE FOILMAN OF
MAUI ;-)

Author TheXtro101 (2 years)
I remember back during the mid 1980's when I was just starting my early
teenage years(in Jr High at the time),the "BuckWheat" surf clothing
style(simliar to "OP" clothing,that's Ocean Pacific).Like a t-shirt of
Buckweat on a surfboard & caption on the bottom reads,"oh tay".

Author shellyny65 (3 years)
Thank you for this! Your dad was a wonderful actor..and a Credit as a
American! still places a smile on my face:)

Author Janet Polanco (2 years)
Awesome! William Thomas, we love you.

Author knowledgebk305 (3 years)
i was looking at the buckwheat hoax

Author detectingwjesus (1 year)
This video was OTAY !

Author MEEH JER (2 years)
I've got one word to say about William " Buckwheat" Thomas, plus, I hope
William Thomas Jr., is not only reading this blog, but just so He'll know,
everybody,blacks, whites,latinos, orientals, hawaiians, & nationalities,
all over the world, loves Your father, & so did I. Here's the word, that
describes William Thomas, the best : ICON!!!!!

Author Kevin Rambo (3 years)
Thanks for sharing this story!

Author rick charles (1 year)
Eddie Murphy played him better. lol

Author Anglsachsen Cilebi (1 year)
The "otay" was Porky's line. I go back a ways.

Author odacityI (1 year)
The best!

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