Mammy Two Shoes

by guest contributor Meera Bowman Johnson, originally published at Our Kind of Parenting

When I was five, I thought that woman on Tom and Jerry, the feet who walked around scolding Tom, was his owner. In fact, I thought it was her house. I mean, as far as I was concerned, why wouldn’t it be? Black women owned homes back then, with cats in ’em, too.

As a matter of fact, wasn’t until I was in college that I realized that character was a servant, and that Tom and Jerry was a racist-ass cartoon. Yes, college. I guess I was a little naive.

Anyway, my grandmother did “days work”, just like many black women did back in the day, but I’m going to have to ask her about those slippers. I’m pretty sure she wore shoes to work. I’m willing to bet that cartoon maid just had them on to push the “lazy Negro” concept even further. Hmph.

So here’s a big, fat, post-humous shout out to the memory of Lillian Randolph, an African American Actress who was the voice behind Tom and Jerry’s “Mammy Two Shoes”. You might even remember her from some ’70’s shows like Sanford and Son and The Jeffersons. While I’m at it, another big shout out to every other African American actress from back in the day who had to grin and bear it while (almost) living her dream.

And a special note to Jasmine from the Doodlebops: It’s 2007, girl. You should really see about having them let you do something other than scatting all the time. Just a suggestion.

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Racialicious is a blog about the intersection of race and pop culture. Check out our daily updates on the latest celebrity gaffes, our no-holds-barred critique of questionable media representations, and of course, the inevitable Keanu Reeves John Cho newsflashes.

Latoya Peterson (DC) is the Owner and Editor (not the Founder!) of Racialicious, Arturo García (San Diego) is the Managing Editor, Andrea Plaid (NYC) is the Associate Editor. You can email us at

The founders of Racialicious are Carmen Sognonvi and Jen Chau. They are no longer with the blog. Carmen now runs Urban Martial Arts with her husband and blogs about local business. Jen can still be found at Swirl or on her personal blog. Please do not send them emails here, they are no longer affiliated with this blog.

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