In the African-American street toast ballad “Shine and the Titanic” a black man named “Shine” famously refuses to help the passengers and swims from the Titanic’s wreck — all the way to New York.
BUT – if the passengers and crew were all white, it kind of begs the question what was Shine doing there.
It especially boggles the mind since Shine is a depcited as an urbane Harlemite in many of the retellings and most of Titanic’s passengers were European gentry or the steerage poor. So if he had been black, it seems likely he’d have been somehow British.
I normally don’t get this picky with legends, myths and folklore but – might there have been a West Indian aboard the Titanic as a porter or a stoker or a servant? Or was the Titanic strictly segregated?