,hl=en,siteUrl='http://0ldfox.blogspot.com/',authuser=0,security_token="v_SeT2Tv8vVdKRCcG9CCW-ZdIfQ:1429878696275"/> Old Fox KM Journal : Mammy

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


Scholarship Schmalarship?

The writer here says... "Mammy was born on the plantation in the imagination of slavery defenders..." But the earliest reference his essay makes to the character is:

"The standard for mammy depictions was offered by Harriet Beecher Stowe's 1852 book, Uncle Tom's Cabin. The book's mammy, Aunt Chloe, is described in this way:
    A round, black, shiny face is hers, so glossy as to suggest the idea that she might have been washed over with the whites of eggs, like one of her own tea rusks. Her whole plump countenance beams with satisfaction and contentment from under a well-starched checkered turban, bearing on it; however, if we must confess it, a little of that tinge of self-consciousness which becomes the first cook of the neighborhood, as Aunt Chloe was universally held and acknowledged to be.(Stowe, 1966, p. 31)
PinkyAunt Chloe was nurturing and protective of "her" white family, but less caring toward her own children. She is the prototypical fictional mammy: self-sacrificing, white-identified, fat, asexual, good-humored, a loyal cook, housekeeper and quasi-family member."

I think he is a bit confused.  Is Harriet Beecher Stowe a "slavery defender?"   I don't think so.

He claims: "During slavery, the mammy caricature was posited as proof that blacks -- in this case, black women -- were contented, even happy, as slaves. Her wide grin, hearty laughter, and loyal servitude were offered as evidence of the supposed humanity of the institution of slavery."

Is this what H.B. Stowe was doing--asserting that black women slaves were happy?  Again, I don't think so.  She was an Aboltionist!  In tose days, that meant Republican.

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