Slave in a Box: The Strange Career of Aunt Jemima (Paperback)

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by Maurice M. Manring


In Slave in a Box, Maurice M. Manring investigates why the troubling figure of Aunt Jemima has endured in American culture. The author traces the evolution of the mammy from her roots in Old South slave reality and mythology, through reinterpretations during Reconstruction and in minstrel shows and turn-of-the-century advertisements, to Aunt Jemima's symbolic role in the Civil Rights movement and her present incarnation as a 'working grandmother.'


The reader learns how advertising entrepreneur James Webb Young, aided by celebrated illustrator N. C. Wyeth, skillfully tapped into nostalgic 1920s perceptions of the South as a culture of white leisure and black labor. Aunt Jemima's ready-mixed products offered middle-class housewives the next best thing to a black servant: a 'slave in a box' that conjured up romantic images of not only the food but also the social hierarchy of the plantation South.

About the Author

Maurice M. Manring is an independent scholar living in Columbia, Missouri.

Product Details

Category: History, Racism Studies, Marketing

Language: English

Format/Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: New

ISBN-10: 0813918111  

ISBN-13: 978-0813918112

Publisher: University of Virginia Press

Date Published: March 05, 1998

Pages: 210

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