Racist postcards in the united states
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Racist Postcards in the United States. 1890 – 1960 Karen F. Dimanche Davis 2007 Revised 2011. These racist postcards were:. Made and used primarily from 1900 through 1965 Imagined, created, and manufactured by real people

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Racist Postcards in the United States

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Racist postcards in the united states

Racist Postcards in the United States

1890 1960

Karen F. Dimanche Davis

2007

Revised 2011


These racist postcards were

These racist postcards were:

  • Made and used primarily from 1900 through 1965

  • Imagined, created, and manufactured by real people

  • Sold in the or millions (From 1905-1915, 10 billion cards were sold in the U.S., with depictions of Blacks among the most popular styles)

  • Sent throughout the US and in foreign countries to millions of peoplemany who never met a Black man or woman

  • Reinforced the same demeaning, hateful, terrorizing ideas and beliefs over four generations


Types of racist cards photographic stereotypes

Types of Racist Cards:* photographic stereotypes *

  • Mammy

  • Uncle

  • Sambo or Coon

  • Pickaninnies

  • Animal-like labor

  • Simple contentment


Racist postcards in the united states

Some were realistic photographic portraits, but posed by white perceptions to create a type the mammy


The good darky or uncle tom

The good Darky or Uncle Tom


Pickaninnies

Pickaninnies


Manual labor beasts of burden

Manual labor beasts of burden


Pickaninnies happily play in cotton the fields are fun not work

Pickaninnies happily play in cottonthe fields are fun, not work.


More fun in the cotton fields a watermelon break

More fun in the cotton fieldsa watermelon break


Poor but contented a watermelon feast taking life easy down in sunny dixie

Poor but contentedA Watermelon FeastTaking Life Easy Down in Sunny Dixie


Note 7 8 children

(note 7-8 children)


Racist postcards in the united states

Types of Racist Cards:* cartoons and staged photographs *Staged photographs or cartoons are ideal for conveying demeaning, dehumanizing, or terrorizing images. Real human features and events can be exaggerated or even invented. This makes it easier for the artist to depict the intended racist ideals or values.(1) Color jokes(2) Mammy(3) Coon, Sambo, Brute (4) Darkie Preacher(5)Pickaninnies: Sexualized(6) Eugenics & Torture jokes


Racist postcards in the united states

Older Black men, Uncle Remus or Uncle Tom, are beloved. Note: the contrast between dark skin and white cotton fascinated whites, as did the similarity of kinked white hair to cotton


Pickaninny color joke

PickaninnyColor Joke


Suntan jokes

Suntan jokes


In a caricature mammy can be coal black and obese with an ugly face bare feet and a red kerchief

In a caricature, Mammy can be coal-black and obese, with an ugly face, bare feet, and a red kerchief


Racist postcards in the united states

Mammy can be drawn like an animal. Not only is she coal black with a red kerchief, coal black, but her posture and figure are being equated with those of a donkeyan ass. Can there be a clearer image of white views of Blacks as sub-human?


Racist postcards in the united states

Mammy is an ever-grinning servant who is washing laundry, and helping the white man write a message. Note the strange animal-like pickaninnies with her.


Racist postcards in the united states

Mammy: Is savin honey, deed I amI saves my fat can fo th grocry man This is a quadruple slur on Black spendthriftiness, ugly women, unusually large buttocks, and sexual permissiveness.


Mammy at home however is mean to her husband and children she beats them and neglects them

Mammy at home, however, is mean to her husband and children. She beats them and neglects them.


Racist postcards in the united states

Poor Old Joe: weak, skinny man starves while his ugly Mammy wife grows fat. Whites misunderstand West African preferences for slender, quick-footed men and ample women who could successfully bear and raise children.


Racist postcards in the united states

An ugly, slovenly wife awaits her ugly, drunken husband, waiting to beat himimplicating Blacks in hating each other


Racist postcards in the united states

The ugly Black woman is beating up on her own poor old Joe, suggesting ugly Black women dominate and beat their weak men as if they were children.


Poor ole joe gets his revenge whites projecting hatred of the black woman onto the black man

Poor Ole Joe gets his revengewhites projecting hatred of the Black woman onto the Black man


Racist postcards in the united states

A Mammy & Pickaninnies puzzle asks us to show her all eleben pickaninnies, no white trash. With stick in hand, she plans to beat them when we find them. (Note the eugenics message in 11 children)


A baby mammy in training overpowering the frightened skinny boy

A baby mammy in trainingoverpowering the frightened skinny boy


Another young mammy in the making accuses her husband of being lazy n word

Another young Mammy-in-the-making accuses her husband of being lazy. (N-word)


A play on words coon trees possum naming black men as coons and implying their animal nature

A play on words: Coon trees possumnaming Black men as coons and implying their animal nature


Black man as gorilla france

Black Man as Gorilla (France)


Racist postcards in the united states

You doun want none of my lip hey? The answer to this ugly Coon who thinks hes a civilized gentleman is, of course, No, I would NOT want your ugly face.


Black man as a savage a cannibal

Black man as a savage, a cannibal


Racist postcards in the united states

Coon with Razor: His eye is onMammys Big Butt. Again, a multiple slur--Black men are irresponsible, dangerous, sexually lascivious, and Black women have ugly faces and large buttocks.


Coons with uncontrollable appetites for chicken and woman as chicken

Coons with uncontrollable appetites for chicken and woman-as-chicken


Discovered these young men are avoiding work in the cotton fields implying they are lazy

Discoveredthese young men are avoiding work in the cotton fields, implying they are lazy


Happy irresponsible young coons gamble away their lives on their way to even more criminal behavior

Happy, irresponsible young Coons gamble away their liveson their way to even more criminal behavior


A play on words for criminal behavior by young black men

A play on words for criminal behavior by young Black men


Racist postcards in the united states

Out on balea play on wordsimplying the young black mans natural condition is to be in jail or out on bail


And this child is already in jail

And this child is already in jail


Most criminal acts depicted are petty theft chickens and watermelons by children

Most criminal acts depicted are petty theftchickens and watermelonsby children


Coon dreaming of free chicken

Coon dreaming of free chicken


Coon the black man as a chicken thief

Coonthe Black man as a chicken thief


Irresponsible fighting among young men n word compared with gentility of patriotic whites 1901

Irresponsible fighting among young men (N-word)(compared with gentility of patriotic whites, 1901)


Coons can if uncontrolled revert to their true state african primitive savagery

Coons can, if uncontrolled, revert to their true stateAfrican primitive savagery


If kept busy at manual labor and fed with watermelon they will be the happiest people on earth

If kept busy at manual labor and fed with watermelon, they will be the happiest people on earth


And happily play the banjo

. . . And happily play the banjo


Why watermelons a symbol of simple contentment note coon becomes an edible fruit

Why watermelons? A symbol of simple contentment(Note: Coon becomes an edible fruit)


In his proper place as servant the black man is a happy smiling caricature not a man

In his proper place as servant, the Black man is a happy, smiling, caricature, not a man


Double stereotype a scottish man resents tipping the grinning dehumanized black coons who serve him

Double stereotype: A Scottish man resents tipping the grinning, dehumanized Black Coons who serve him


Coon chicken inn yes a real restaurant chain portland seattle and salt lake city

Coon Chicken Inn. Yes, a real restaurant chainPortland, Seattle, and Salt Lake City


Racist postcards in the united states

Whites invented a Darky Preacher to warn Blacks against drinking, fighting, gambling, gossip, and trying to pass as white!


Black children become pickaninnies here they are chocolate candies morsels to devour

Black children become Pickaninnies. Here, they are chocolate candiesmorsels to devour


Little girls are also chickens to be eaten up sexually

Little girls are also chickens to be eaten up sexually


Both adults and children sexual pregnant and ignorant

Both adults and children: Sexual, pregnant and ignorant


Black children share watermelon and an implied romance

Black children share watermelon and an implied romance


Racist postcards in the united states

Dark-skinned pickaninnies (a sexualized boy and girl) happily engulfed in watermelon and cottonnote they are also be-headed


Racist postcards in the united states

Pickaninnies with bare butts were a popular theme, suggesting that children were undressed, like animals, and sexually available


Pickaninny bare butt raggedy clothes unsuited to be a soldier

Pickaninnybare butt, raggedy clothesunsuited to be a soldier


Black children are sexualized with heart shaped bare butts

Black children are sexualized, with heart-shaped bare butts.


Pickaninnies naked and sex crazed

Pickaninnies, naked andsex-crazed


Racist postcards in the united states

Children are sexualized. They are coal-black with huge red balloon lips, uncombed hair and ragged clothing. Like his father, this boy is sex-crazed.


Racist postcards in the united states

This supposed hyper-sexuality leads Blacks to have many childrenthus an implied eugenics message in images of families with many children

A dark outlook

Six little pickaninnies


Mother with seven children and a dog eight little pickaninnies kneeling in a row

Mother with seven children and a dogEight little pickaninnies kneeling in a row


Racist postcards in the united states

The implied eugenic message explains the often subtle torture jokes in which Black men, women, and children are tortured or killed


Racist postcards in the united states

These sexualized children with heart-shaped bare butts are objects of torture by another sex-crazed boy


A bare butt pickaninny torture joke

A bare-butt pickaninny torture joke


Mammy coon and pickaninny all being tortured

Mammy, Coon and Pickaninnyall being tortured


Bees will sting and eat up an innocent child

Bees will sting and eat up an innocent child.


Racist postcards in the united states

MammyTorture Joke. Here the womans breasts are being drawn into a washing-machine wringer. When white men suffer similar industrial accidents they are horrified and expect compensationhere, its supposed to be funny.


Torture joke advertisement for korn kinks

Torture Joke (advertisement for Korn Kinks)


Pickaninny castration jokes displaying fears of black male sexuality

PickaninnyCastration JokesDisplaying fears of Black male sexuality


Racist postcards in the united states

PickaninnyTorture JokesA popular theme is Black children and men as alligator baitanimals to be eaten by animalsTrue feelings for Blacks are displayed in these cards


Come on down torture jokes

Come on Down Torture Jokes


Racist postcards in the united states

PickaninniesAlligator BaitTorture JokeLike animals, the children are naked and without adult supervision


Pickaninnies torture joke as a joy ride

PickaninniesTorture Joke as a Joy Ride


Pickaninny torture joke

PickaninnyTorture Joke


Racist postcards in the united states

His Last PrayerTorture JokeImplying Black men wait for Gods help rather than take reasonable action


Racist postcards in the united states

After a while, the alligator theme is so well known, it can be simply shown, to imply the alligators will devour the hated mammies


Racist postcards in the united states

Similar images and ideas are still common today in newspapers, magazines, television, and other media.What examples can you give?


Bibliography

Bibliography

Anderson, L.M. From blackface to genuine negroes: nineteenth-century minstrelsy and the icon of the negro. Theatre Research International 21(1):17-23, Spring 1996.

Baldwin, B. On the verso: postcard messages as a key to popular prejudices. Journal of Popular Culture 22(3):15-28, Winter 1988.

A brief history of postcards. Shiloh Postcards http://www.shilohpostcards.com/webdoc2.htm , accessed 03/31/2011

Coon cards: racist postcards have become collectors items. Journal of Blacks in Higher Education 25:72-3, Autumn 1999.

Curry, A. Men in blackface. U.S. News & World Report 133(2):24-5, July 8, 2002.

Alan Petrulis. (2010). Post Cards Between the Wars, 1914 1945: Racist Humor. Metropolitan Postcard Club of New York City, http://www.metropostcard.com/history1914-1945.html accessed April 9, 2011.

Pilgrim, David. Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia, Ferris State University, http://www.ferris.edu/jimcrow/ accessed 03/31/2011


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