Check out Tony Horwitz's article The Mammy Washington Almost Had form the Atlantic.
Join SHINE net
Thanks for posting this article. It discussed a number of historical moments in our history that I was unaware of...though I do remember attending a tour that Michael Dixon gave at Harpers Ferry NHP and seeing the "boxed statue" once dedicated to "faithful slaves." I was surprised by the fact that Washington D.C. almost had a monument to faithful mammies--and would have if the Senate's bill in 1923 had passed the House. In my interpretive planning class this summer--where we combined a focus on indigenous interpretation and interpretive planning--we read from a book called Blindspot. We'll read a few more chapters from this book in my classes this fall. The research cited in Blindspot tells us that biases, selective awareness and the tendency to like those we perceive to be like us continue to lead to discrimination and racism in our society today. While it's not a surprise per se, it does beg the question "What can interpreters do to lead the way forward?"
From the article you posted, these were two passages that gave me pause...I'm really glad they mentioned the boxed sculpture at Harpers Ferry because that was a meaningful moment in my personal journey of awareness about this topic.
"These and other routine cruelties didn't figure in the moonlight-and-magnolia romance that seized white imagination in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Nor was the Mammy craze of that era confined to literature, song, and marketing. It was fostered by groups such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC), which sought to recast the "Lost Cause" as a noble defense of a Southern utopia. If slaves had been loyal, well treated, and content, it followed that emancipation and Reconstruction were calamitous -- just as portrayed in Birth of a Nation."
"...Historian Catherine Clinton says that if the monument had been built, it would strike tourists today as "a monstrous apparition" from our past. It might even have been hidden from view, inside a box -- the fate of a faithful slave memorial in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia."
Compare the first quote's depiction of the Emancipation as calamitous with Kevin Bales' description of what the U.S. did when it freed the slaves as a "botched Emancipation." Both depictions acknowledge what African Americans endured (and continue to endure) in their journey from Civil War to civil rights to...? But the reason for framing the Emancipation in the negative are diametrically opposed.
Welcome toSHINE net
Sign Upor Sign In
Or sign in with:
SHINEnet is a professional network for interpreters, informal educators and other like-minded professionals. SHINE stands for Sharing Heritage Interpretation News and Expertise.
Interactive: Understanding audiences, engaging visitors
Nicole Deufel's Blog
Interpreting the Civil War
Added by Devonte Hill
Added by Evan R. Coulson
Added by Evan R. Coulson
© 2013 SFASU Webmaster Doug Lowthian
Report an Issue |
Terms of Service
Please check your browser settings or contact your system administrator.