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.