Visiting Mammy's Cupboard in Natchez, Mississippi

Mississippi - Visiting Mammy's Cupboard in Natchez, MS, is a great way to experience the history of the American South. It's also a tourist attraction. As a side note, this place has served as a gift shop, gas station, restaurant, and craft center.

What is Mammy's Cupboard in Natchez, Mississippi
Photo: Mammy's Cupboard


Mammy's Cupboard Was Built-in 1940 by Henry Gaude

He ran a small restaurant and gas station. He also operated a souvenir shop.  Eventually, he sold the restaurant to his nephew, Edwin Vedrenne.

In 1941, Edward Weston photographed Mammy's Cupboard.  The image shows a white Southern belle, with Mammy's hair and skin color darker than that of her contemporary.

Mammy's history as a figure is complicated. She began as a white woman but later became a black character. She has appeared in advertisements and packages of the mix. Despite her blackness, she was still considered a negative racist stereotype.

Her biography has become a popular subject of study. Mammy is a black female who acts as a mediator and source of discipline and wisdom. Her outside life is usually problematic.

She's been depicted as a black surrogate mother, but her relationship with her white mistress is unclear. She's also been portrayed as a vicar. As a result, she's become a problematic icon of American culture.

The modern Mammy was created along with the development of the Jim Crow law system. The racial divisions of the early 20th century were enforced in the industrial South.

The commercial Mammy strove to appeal to customers' hearts and to suggest approval of the servant types who ran the kitchen. In the process, they bought into the positive qualities of the image.