The Mammy

The Mammy is “so closely related to the comic coons that she is usually relegated to their ranks. Mammy is distinguished, however, by her sex and her fierce independence. She is usually big, fat, and cantankerous.
— Donald Bogle, 2001

The stereotype of ‘The Mammy’ made her debut in Hollywood’s cinematic history around 1914 when audiences were treated to a blackface version of Lysistrata. The comedy, titled Coon Town suffragettes, salt with a group of bossy mammy washerwomen who organise a militant movement to keep their good-for-nothing husbands at home.” (Bogle, 2001, p 9)

An offspring of The Mammy is the ‘Aunt Jemima’ which are “Toms blessed with religion or mammies who wedge themselves into the dominant white culture. Generally they are sweet, jolly and good-tempered—a bit more polite than mammy and certainly never as headstrong.” (Bogle, 2001. p 9)

From The fourth edition of ‘Toms, Coons, Mulattoes, Mammies & Bucks, An interpretive History of Blacks in American Films’ by Donald Bogle.