In celebration of Black History Month UK 2019 we have chosen a figure from our archive which highlights an element of History.
Mammy, which rooted in slavery and the hierarchy of the races, is perhaps the most well known and enduring racial caricature of African American women. A mammy, also spelled mammie, is a well known American stereotype, especially in the Southern United States, of a black woman who worked (first in in enslavement, then in servitude) in a white family and nursed the family's children. Indeed, during slavery black women would give birth only to see their own children sold off while the mother's milk would be used to feed the babies of the white family they belonged to. The mammy represents both women and girls who had their identities restricted and distorted in ways that made slavery palatable, acceptable and even necessary. .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.This was the mammy caricature, and, like all caricatures, it contained a little truth surrounded by a larger lie. The caricature portrayed an obese, coarse, maternal figure. She had great love for her white "family," but often treated her own family with disdain. Although she had children, sometimes many, she was completely desexualized. She "belonged" to the white family, though it was rarely stated. Unlike Sambo, she was a faithful worker. She had no black friends; the white family was her entire world. Obviously, the mammy caricature was more myth than accurate portrayal.
Question: This particular doll is made into a bell. Why might the latter add insult to injury
Task:Look carefully at the image of the black Mammie Doll. What imagine does it convey to you about black women?