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Iowa State University

Ethnic Studies

Selected Works

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Full-Text Articles in African American Studies

Who's Your Mammy?: Figuring And Refiguring Aunt Jemima, Harrison W. Inefuku May 2007

Who's Your Mammy?: Figuring And Refiguring Aunt Jemima, Harrison W. Inefuku

Harrison W. Inefuku

In existence since the late 1890s, advertising icon Aunt Jemima has been indelibly etched into the American memory—virtually unchanged from her debut until her makeover in 1989. Before this recent transformation, Aunt Jemima was the quintessential embodiment of the mammy stereotype—a heavyset black woman, complete with apron and bandana. Her creation was situated at the locus of several racist traditions and discourses directed towards African Americans—the mammy stereotype, the minstrel show, The Myth of the Old South, and the Exhibition of the Other. This embodiment of multiple racist practices helps to explain how the mammy in general ...