"Little Farina is a great argument for the development of the latent talent of the negro that has never been given adequate voice in the photoplay chorus".
Above is a snippet of high praise that was pulled from the drama review that was devoted entirely to Allen "Farina" Hoskins (1920 - 1980), the earliest African-American cast member in the "Our Gang" comedies.
Young Hoskins first appeared in the "Our Gang" films in 1922, remaining with the gang until he turned 11, in 1931. He performed in as many as 106 of the films and set the record as the longest serving cast member. Audiences were baffled as to the gender of the child - and the rocket scientists at the Hal Roach Studio liked it that way just fine. The filmmakers saw to it that Farina's gender remained a mystery.
At the height of his fame Hoskins was paid the kingly sum of $500.00 per week.