Joy O. Ude
The Brand (front)The Brand (back)The Desexualized WomanThe Entertainer (front)The Entertainer (back)The Exotic (front)The Exotic (back)The Mascot (front)The Mascot (back)The Nurturer (front)The Nurturer (back)The Outlaw (front)The Outlaw (back)The Storyteller (front)The Storyteller (back)
Mammy & Me
The Mammy & Me series focuses on the Mammy caricature as a divisive icon in American culture. For White Americans, the Mammy was a symbol of comfort, tough love, and a jolly disposition. For Black Americans, caricatures such as Mammy, Uncle Tom, and Sambo were inflammatory and painful reminders of how White Americans regarded them: at times, lazy and slow, and sometimes loyal to a fault.

The lunchbox forms—covered with bold graphics, text and saturated colors—are a visual reference for nostalgic and collectible items. This series speaks to the self-identity and self-esteem of Black American women, and the effects of stereotypical or sensationalized depictions of Black American women in advertising and entertainment.

Photography by John Jenkins and Laura Waugh