God's Step Children

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God's Step Children is a 1938 movie directed by Oscar Micheaux. The movie is said to have a strong plot but inferior execution, mostly due to low budget.

Synopsis

'Spoiler warning'

Naomi, a light-skinned Negress, is an adopted child. She is constantly trying to be someone she's not and making poor decisions that backfire on her. She also mistakenly keeps believing that she is unloved, which unfortunately tends to get her into even deeper trouble.

The spanking scene

There is one spanking scene and one related pre-spanking scene in the movie.

In the first scene, Naomi (Jacqueline Lewis) is scolded by her teacher, who says that she has to punish her although she wished she didn't have to.

The principal says I must punish you for it, and I hate to do that! I hate to! But you're a bad girl and must be punished...

– Naomi's teacher

Naomi talks back to her teacher and then spits in face. At this, with no further words she is bent over the teacher's desk and hand-spanked.

In the second scene, Naomi is lectured by her mother in the staircase of their house. Her mother tells her that she has been lying and threatens her with another spanking if she doesn't go right back to bed. Naomi begins to cry, saying that nobody loves her. Her brother Jimmy joins them and tells what Naomi had done: she had tripped other kids up in the schoolyard so that they fell into the mud.

Now there's no need for you to scream and cry here longer: you must be punished.

– Naomi's mother

Naomi tries to talk her mother out of it, saying that she'd just been spanked by her teacher the same day ("Please don't whip me again, mommie!"). Her mother now reveals that she not only knows about her preceding punishment at school, but also about Naomi spitting into her teacher's face.

I don't know what'll become of you when you grow up. But I'm gonna give you a whopping now that you'll never forget - if I've to send you to the hospital when I get through!

– Naomi's mother

Naomi starts to beg for clemency and now even Jimmie joins in her plea, but all in vain. The scene ends with her mother saying once more that she has to punish her, leading Naomi away, who is now crying heartrendingly.

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