Author Topic: I have to ask.....  (Read 18876 times)

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Offline MakinTheBest

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I have to ask.....
« on: March 07, 2015, 12:25:54 PM »
There was a big discussion on IBH facebook group when a member posted a copy she made of a Mammy Doll that she had when she was a young girl.  This post sparked a huge discussion about whether or not admin should allow the post to stay up or should have been removed as offensive.  The comments got ugly for some.  So what do you think?


Should we remove art because it offends or is art meant to spark feelings of all kinds and allow the post to stay up?

myeuropeantouch

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Re: I have to ask.....
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2015, 04:17:50 PM »
I found some interesting comments. But first for me, it's part of American History, sadly but true. That's how I see it. There is nothing racist about it, it America's History, sadly. And that is as I see it, History.....
However here are some interesting remarks and thoughts I found:
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Mammy dolls are something that represents endurance and strength. Some children loved and adored their “mammies” more than their own parents! Why does EVERYTHING historical have to have a negative connotation???
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The mammie dolls are racial motivated toward African Americans of the past. The development of the dolls came from cartoons of black people in 1600, 1700, and 1800s. The cartoons made remarks about African American women that were slaves who in most instances were house slaves who took care of slave owners children. These cartoons developed more negative images during this time. The development of the cloth dolls and ceramic dolls became popular due to these cartoons. The mammie dolls are resurfacing now by Caucasians and miss educated African Americans as heritage dolls. They are apart of African American heritage however a negative image. They have increased sales after the election of Barack Obama by Caucasians by right wing conservatives. Don’t believe me google it for yourself.
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They are no more racist than black Cabbage Patch Kids. Furthermore, they are a part of our history. Get over it, already.

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“Furthermore, they are a part of our history. Get over it, already.”
– And there’s nothing racist about America’s history. At all. Ever. Case closed.

***
As a Black American who has collected Black Americana for over 18 years I have learned a Mammy is a racist caricature. People who were taken care of might feel endearment towards their Mammy. However, Mammies portrayals were happy servant’s who at one time were happy Mammy slaves who loved to leave their children to take care of their employer’s children.
Why when it pertains to negative American history black people are supposed to get over “it”? First, African American’s history is not an “it”. Second like other nationalities we as Black American’s should not get over our homeland history we should respect our forefathers and fore-mothers struggles and successes.
I do not have a problem with museums having mammies in their collection. I do
have concern when the historical Mammy chronicle is not shared with the images.


***
Agree with the last statement, a historical explanation should may be included.
It stemmed from a African American Caricature, yes, it was racist back then, but these days it should not be considered that. Rather just be a piece of our History.
Most "African American's" these days are born in the USA and are American's.
I don't hear anyone else saying "Chinese American" or German American"! These days we are all American's....
Now - I may have opened a can of worms here.....LOL

Offline MakinTheBest

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Re: I have to ask.....
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2015, 06:05:32 PM »
The can was opened already but I just wanted to get others take on it since it seemed like such polar opposite sides.  Of course it left mammy dolls and there was questions about Nazi art and lynchings....talk about escalating quickly!

myeuropeantouch

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Re: I have to ask.....
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2015, 06:49:40 PM »
The can was opened already but I just wanted to get others take on it since it seemed like such polar opposite sides.  Of course it left mammy dolls and there was questions about Nazi art and lynchings....talk about escalating quickly!

Sheesh...go figure.....there is no comparison in my opinion. H and the N were way worse from what I learned in my History classes and my personal readings. That can only be compared to the killings of the American Indians and the (our past) government stealing their hopes, land and heritage....again....just MHO and I read up on that issue too....

It's a historic figure, a doll, there is way to much emphasis put on the underlying issue, which is racism, sadly enough. If this was a Lucy Doll or Shirley Temple, or a Flossie Doll no one would even say a thing.....

Offline trusk4u

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Re: I have to ask.....
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2015, 10:46:31 AM »
To me, it's freedom of speech. And it is a part of history. It should be used as a teaching tool. I think most art will always offend someone in some way.

myeuropeantouch

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Re: I have to ask.....
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2015, 11:18:27 AM »
I agree Teresa, that too....

Just think, go ahead and make a white and colored Raggedy Ann Doll and see what happens........ sadly I think the crowd will go banana's.....

That reminds me of an issue I had when I was still working. Christmas Time....at work, I draw pretty good and had drawn a Santa Claus and hung in my cubicle. Now mind you in Germany there is no racism or was not at the time when I came here. I had wonderful colored friends.....now back to the story which was real and almost had me have a heart attack. A co- worker of mine saw my Santa and admired him. She asked me if I could make one for her cubicle. Now just to make sure I asked innocently "do you wish to have an "African American" one. (trying to be careful here) She said "yes, of course", so I drew a colored Santa.
Behind my back she went to our supervisor and complained to her that I was racist because I had drawn her a colored Santa. Yes, I know she requested it, but I was put thru the wringer and almost demoted. And I could not believe that this happened to me......I felt totally innocent about it, as I did not know such thing as racism coming from Germany....
Well, it's apparently still an issue in this country.......

Offline MsMartyD

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Re: I have to ask.....
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2015, 12:05:28 PM »
I had a white Betsy Wetsy doll when I was little.  My daddy found  an African American one somewhere and brought it home so I had 2 dolls that peed themselves when I gave them their bottles.  There was no big uproar over  my having that  little doll.  I do remember, however that in the South a lot of jobs were not available to African Americans.  My daddy was a Knoxville fireman and there were no blacks  there but most of daddy's hunting and fishing buddies were African Americans.   My older brother was wounded  at Normandy (WWII) and was  in a hospital in Atlanta.  He came home to visit every now and again and on one trip he passed out and was unresponsive for a time.  There was an African American doctor who lived down the street and he came up there to check on him and called the hospital to let them know he had advised  him to stay in bed for a couple of days and he'd see them the next week.  Segregation was a real and awful thing  in my childhood.  I can remember crosses being burned in front of really nice houses when African Americans bought them.  After I grew up  some of my neighbors were horrified that I let  my boys play with and bring their African American  friends from school  home for sleep overs.
I think it's time  people  got past all that.  I would agree....   go ahead and make the dolls.   Somebody will buy them because they are adorable.
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Offline MsMartyD

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Re: I have to ask.....
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2015, 12:14:59 PM »
I just remembered something  ....   During the 1970s  I made Barbie clothes and  a few other items for pocket change while my boys were in school.I made  some Hollie Hobbie dolls  and one of hubby's friends at work wanted them for his 2 girls. I knew they were African America so I told Joe to ask if they'd rather have those than the white ones.  They were thrilled at having their own personal dolls.  I didn't name them or anything ...   they were just 2 really cute brown dollies with gingham checked  dresses and bonnets. 

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