The Mammy

1397 Words6 Pages
African Americans have consistently been the target of cinematic and television comedy. Considering African American women, the Mammy has emerged as an icon throughout the 20th century, representing the foil to American white women (cf. Atkinson, 2004: 3). Having its roots in antebellum Southern America, the Mammy “was an important figure in the socialization of white Southern children” (DelGaudio, 1983). Considerably, various depictions of the Mammy present her performing arduous domestic duties in the household of their slave owners. Therefore, the Mammy replaces the white lady in educating and taking care not only of the white children but also of the home (cf. Jewell, 1993: 38). In their work, Jennifer Bailey Woodard and Teresa Mastin stand their…show more content…
Patton, 1993). Hence, the Mammy in the white household is seen as an intelligent servant to the white family, solving wisely and even god-like every duty she has to fulfill. Unsurprisingly, she constantly balances between the white and the black community, being a spokesman for the black minority (cf. Atkinson 2004, 2). Although the black servant is a slave within a white household, the Mammy is portrayed as being content with her way of living, having a satisfying master-servant relationship and feeling not inferior, but rather seeing herself as a member of the family (cf. Jewell, 1993: 38). In acquiescence with Kimberly Wallace-Sanders, the image of the Mammy has been applied to create an atmosphere of racial harmony within the slave system (cf. 2008: 13). Hence, the role of the Mammy in the late 19th century and beginning of the 20th century is established in effort to create an image of the Mammy contrasting to the stereotypical image of the African American slave, who is inferior to the white
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