3.19.2007

Mammy Two Shoes

When I was five, I thought that woman on Tom and Jerry, the feet who walked around scolding Tom, was his owner. In fact, I thought it was her house. I mean, as far as I was concerned, why wouldn't it be? Black women owned homes back then, with cats in 'em, too.

As a matter of fact, wasn't until I was in college that I realized that character was a servant, and that Tom and Jerry was a racist-ass cartoon. Yes, college. I guess I was a little naive.

Anyway, my grandmother did "days work", just like many black women did back in the day, but I'm going to have to ask her about those slippers. I'm pretty sure she wore shoes to work. I'm willing to bet that cartoon maid just had them on to push the "lazy Negro" concept even further. Hmph.

So here's a big, fat, post-humous shout out to the memory of Lillian Randolph, an African American Actress who was the voice behind Tom and Jerry's "Mammy Two Shoes". You might even remember her from some '70's shows like Sanford and Son and The Jeffersons. While I'm at it, another big shout out to every other African American actress from back in the day who had to grin and bear it while (almost) living her dream.

And a special note to Jasmine from the Doodlebops: It's 2007, girl. You should really see about having them let you do something other than scatting all the time. Just a suggestion.

32 comments:

Liz said...

You're not alone! I thought it was her house too! I used to love T&J when I was little but my mom wouldn't let me watch it so I would sneak to catch it on TV. It comes on now on one of those all-cartoon channels...because a whole new generation of kids needs to be exposed to that mess. And you are totally right about Doodlebops!

Aly Cat 121 said...

see ain't that something. Gurl you gonna make me throw my dayum t.v. outside.

Nerd Girl said...

I second that Doodlebops suggestion! Geesh, rhyming and scatting - how progressive. Not that I'm opposed to either, but come on . . .

Cle and Sylvie said...

Ok I am totally naive! I didn't know! Tom and Jerry was one of me and brother's favorite cartoons! Now I feel like and idiot! Good to know though.

Keith said...

First I want to say that I've never heard of the Doodlebops until reading this post and they look like they suck.

Second I want to say "say it ain't so Mrs. J, say it aint so!" I haven't seen Tom and Jerry in years, but the memory of that mammy came flooding back to me in an instant after seeing the photo. There's alot of that in cartoons back in the day, but I had forgotten about T & J. Yet another thing to add to my banned list.

plez... said...

About the Doodlebops: we don't watch that in my home. Have you EVER seen a Black face in the audience?!? They must film that show in Idaho or Montana!

I don't like my daughter watching shows, especially ones that put themselves out there as wholesome entertainment, that do not have people in them that look like her that portray positive messages.

We bought her a ballet instructional video for kids at Christmas. We were watching the video which had only one Black girl, when I noticed that ALL of the white girls wore the traditional tights and tutu's. The little Black girl NEVER wore a tutu and was relegated to wearing a funky green & yellow hip hop outfit throughout the video. A number of times in the video, all of the girls, except the Black one, participated in routines with the instructor. Talk about hidden racism... I threw the damn video in the trash on Christmas day!

I will not subject my daughter to ANYTHING that even remotely suggests that she (or anyone who looks like her) is a second class citizen.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Do you remember Heckle and Jeckle (sp)? I remember those cartoons with black crows speaking...I believe they called it Jive back then. sad.

Mrs. J said...

nyc- I totally do, I always wondered why they talked like that. But they were my first clue that something was up...

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