papier-mâché antique doll, mixed media fiber
12 x 6 in.
The mammification of African American women was replete with images of obese, unattractive and illiterate house slaves reinforcing inferiority and servility. Images of Mammy were created to justify the economic exploitation of house slaves and sustained to explain a black women’s longstanding restriction to domestic servitude. Mammy was multifaceted, she took care of “Massa’s” children, cooking, sewing, wet nursing solving problems and giving advice. There is a historical sense of endearment to her. Images of Aunt Jemima Pancakes and from the movie “Gone with the Wind”, where Mammy was depicted as loyal to the white family, was smart, able to think outside the box, and resourceful. Mammy is imprinted in the sub-conscious of America, because by all means, she is America’s mom.
© Dorothy Straughter