Cultural Images: Discussing a Historical Example of an American Stereotype The 1923 news item below appeared in the March 3 issue of Time magazine; it concerns a Congressional proposal to honor black women of the Old South. Instructions for this week’s Choice 2 assignment: read the news item below not only for content but to ascertain the attitude of the journalist who wrote it; then develop an APA formatted essay that analyzes the content and the writer’s attitude in the “Black Mammy” article. This assignment should be written in APA essay format, (not question and answer format), and include your reflections and analysis of the following items: 1. What appears to be the attitude of the writer toward “Negro women” in the first paragraph? How does this attitude change in the second paragraph? Why do you think the attitude of the author changes? 2. The proposal for a statue came from Southern legislators, many of who were raised by Black nannies. Given this fact, do you think they were sincere in their proposal to honor the black women by erecting this statue? In your own words, why did the black women reject this proposal? If Congress had erected this statue of “The Black Mammy of the South,” how do you think white and black people would view that statue today? 3. What might be a comparable situation today where white people are insisting on maintaining a cultural image for a (nonwhite) group of people? Explain how and why this is a comparable situation. Be sure your essay is properly formatted and includes correct grammar and spelling, complete sentences and use of relevant examples and/or concepts from the assigned reading this week. Cite any sources that you consult; including the textbook and/or reader. Upload your assignment document in a Microsoft Word or Rich Text Format to this week’s assignment manager link. Note to Students: You may wish to consult the following University of Virginia resource to help you answer the questions: The Mythification of Mammy http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA99/diller/mammy/fiction.html “Black Mammy” Debate in Washington, D.C. In dignified and quiet language, two thousand Negro women of the Phyllis Wheatley Y.W.C.A. protested against a proposal to erect at the Capitol a statue to “The Black Mammy of the South.” A spokesman carried the resolution to Vice President Coolidge and Speaker Gillette and begged them to use their influence against “the reminder that we come from a race of slaves.” This, of course, will rebuke forever the sentimentalists who thought they were doing honor to a character that they loved. They desired to immortalize a person famous in song and legend. But that person’s educated granddaughters snuffed out the impulse by showing that they are ashamed of her. Black Mammy. (1923, March). Time. Vol I, 1
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