Black Women Refuse to 'Play Mammy to Hillary'

Harris-Lacewell Says Scarlett O'Hara Act Is Tired

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When you're in a race against a black man, being called Scarlett O'Hara is definetely a branding problem! Writing at The Root, Melissa Harris-Lacewell lays into Hillary Clinton:
Black women voters are rejecting Hillary Clinton because her ascendance is not a liberating symbol. Her tears are not moving. Her voice does not resonate. Throughout history, privileged white women, attached at the hip to their husband's power and influence, have been complicit in black women's oppression. Many African American women are simply refusing to play Mammy to Hillary.
I don't know if I buy the overall premise. I certainly don't believe the Mammy character is unique to America. The name may be unique to the U.S., but anyone who's taken even a passing glance at literature portraying other colonial societies will recognize the character of the helpful house slave/servant who becomes like a second mom to the family. But it's nice to see this particular aspect of identity politics being discussed so bluntly. It also might serve notice to the Clinton team that they have some work to do.
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