Monday, September 1, 2008

Mammy jar in Pennsylvania gift shop

Let us marinate on this concept for a moment: a mammy jar as a gift.

A gift for whom, I wonder...

The beloved neo-nazi nephew? An elderly neighbor that was/is a member of the Klan?
That aunt or uncle who relishes telling stories about the
good 'ol Jim Crow days
when them "darkies" knew their place!

So, my girlfriend had this great idea: "Let's go to New Hope!" 
So, we did -- we visited New Hope, Pennsylvania and we had a great time.

Except for when we were confronted by unapologetically, aggressively racist images like
the mammy jar at Terri's Giftshoppe and the mammy poster & confederate flag at the Trading Post... that wasn't so fun.

Then there was the t-shirt with images representing McCain and Obama (using the symbol designating the male gender that you would see on a public restroom) where the McCain image has a tiny penis and the Obama image has an elongated penis. Apparently, the artist's intention is to represent Obama as the better (and thus, better endowed) candidate. 
So not funny. 
So ridiculously racist.

But this blog is about the collection of mammy jars on display and for sale!! at Terri's Giftshoppe.

I decided to email Terri's Giftshoppe a "suggested improvement:" 
               The immediate removal and stop sale on all mammy jars.

Because Terri's Giftshoppe is not a formal museum or archive -- there is no imaginable positive reason for making these mammy jars available to the public -- the largely white public, mind you -- that frequents New Hope, PA. One result of selling these mammy jars is to contribute to the desensitization of white folks to everyday evidence/examples of racism *and* to feed the white people's denial about the pervasive and destructive racist caricaturing, and thus dehumanization, of African Americans (and people of color in general).

I encourage you to
email Terri's Giftshoppe too.

Because this is not South Carolina or Georgia or all white, remote communities in upstate NY.
                                This is New Hope, Pennsylvania.
And we are not the kind of people that passively accept or enjoy the site of racist caricatures and confederate flags.
We are not the kind of people that will tolerate the casual display of racist images in the public sphere.

Email Terri's Giftshoppe and tell them what
a bad idea selling mammy jars is -- explain to them how repulsive the mammy image is and how horrible, violent and oppressive the history attached to it.

    Just in case you eed help formulating ideas for your email:)
    Visit the Jim Crow Museum's website:

Ask them if they would like their shop and the New Hope community to be regarded as liberal and fun (which is their reputation) or racist.

Terri's Giftshoppe email address:

   phone number: 215-862-2557

address: Terri's Gifts @ The Four Seasons Mall, 32 S. Main St., Store # 8
                    New Hope, PA 18938

           Store hours: roughly 11 am to 6 pm, 7 days a week

Terri's Giftshoppe's

                          If you do write a letter, THANK YOU!!!
I invite you to post your letter (in the form of a comment) here -- I'd love to see it.

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