We’ve Come a Long Way from the Effort to Memorialize the Slave Mammy | History News Network

By: Mark Auslander
Published: Sept. 2011

Mark Auslander teaches Anthropology at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA, where he directs the university’s Museum of Culture and Environment. He is the author of “The Accidental Slaveowner: Revisiting a Myth of Race and Finding an American Family” (University of Georgia Press, 2011)

As Washington D.C. prepares for the rescheduled October 16 unveiling of the memorial to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., it is worth reflecting that nine decades ago a very different national monument depicting a person of color was contemplated for the nation’s capital.  In 1923, backed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Senator John Sharp Williams (D-Mississippi) introduced a bill mandating  a monument to the southern “Negro Mammy” in the District of Columbia.  Numerous designs from hopeful sculptors and architects were submitted.  One proposal depicts a large black woman holding a white baby near her bosom.  A white boy and girl clutch her skirts.  Many expected the monument would grace the grounds of the U.S. Capitol. (READ MORE…) 


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