Thursday, Nov 05, 2020
3:00 pm PDT
View archived lecture here, available for the duration of the Virtual Lecture Series.
Taylor Bythewood-Porter, Assistant Curator, California African American Museum
Chris Christion, Visual Artist, Visiting Lecturer at University of California, Berkeley
David Pilgrim, Founder and Curator, Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University Information about Panelists
Following years of social pressure and the increased spotlight on corporate links to racism ensuing the murder of George Floyd, the Quaker Oats Company announced in June that it would be retiring the image and name Aunt Jemima for their syrup brand. This news came as a shock to many Americans, who hadn’t previously considered the racial implications of their breakfast products.
In this panel discussion, we will engage with the implications of African American caricature (like Aunt Jemima) and how it relates to popular culture and the consumer market. Joining us will be curator Taylor Bythewood-Porter to discuss the California African American Museum’s exhibition Making Mammy: A Caricature of Black Womanhood, 1840-1940, artist Chris Christion to review his body of work utilizing manufactured Black memorabilia, and curator David Pilgrim to discuss community impact of the Jim Crow Museum.
This presentation will be paired with free, on-demand screening of the film Black Memorabilia (2019) by Chico Colvard. Black Memorabilia explores the world of racist material, both antique and newly produced, that propagate demeaning representations of African Americans. From industrial China to the rural South to Brooklyn, the film shines a light on those who reproduce, consume and reclaim racially-charged items, from banks to Mammy kitchenware, confederate flags, Nazi insignia and other ephemera. To see a trailer of the 55 minute film, click here. To request your free access code, please click here.
Student Meal Tickets
Ullman Commons will be serving pancakes with syrup (not Aunt Jemima) as a dinner option following the event, and the CCEI will pay for meals for 50 students (their choice of meal, not just pancakes) who do not have meal plans. Meal tickets are on a first come, first served basis– please sign up here.
This program was generously sponsored by the Cal Lutheran Center for Cultural Engagement and Inclusion, the California African American Museum, and the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University.
Image credit: Chris Christion, Supermammy, 2014, digital Photo. Courtesy of the artist.