Zora, our own respectable negress got some shine from The New York Times on Tuesday with her post, "What America Really Wants is a National Mammy."
Some choice comments from the readers of said journal of record (Eric, we do appreciate you giving us some love...it is much appreciated)--Zora knows how to rile folks up it seems!
I liked this article a lot. Although I don’t follow fashion much, I’m one of those 70some percent who adore Michelle Obama, which makes me wonder why in god’s name Zora would assume that the mainstream is uncomfortable because of Michelle’s “negritude.” And what’s with all the “WASP,” and “mammy” lingo? I realize racism still exists, but sheesh…some people just don’t realize how out of touch this embattled perspective is. America loves their new president and his beautiful, intelligent wife and yes, some Americans are having to redefine their view of black women, but I’d also like to think that in turn some black women could redefine their view of America.— colortheory
Well, I guess I’m in the “good, middle-class Negress,” category according to Zora, but what a condescending way to refer to people whose lives helped make Michelle Obama’s First Ladyship possible. I arrived in Baden-Baden, London, Paris, etc. as a representative of the U.S. nearly 30 years before Barack and Michelle did and, yes, I was wearing something by a mainstream designer. I had to give a damn what people thought because there were no E.E.O. requirements for international jobs back then and probably still aren’t. Fortunately for me, my field — international technical standards — was inclined to make appointments based on merit, since it mattered. However, well aware I was a first in every way, you betcha I covered my arms and kept to mainstream fashions (which I also happen to like). Because of those who paved the way, Michelle Obama is now in a position to wear whatever she chooses. As long as her heart and mind remain as open, kind and honorable as they are, I could care less what she has on. The rest of us will just have to keep Vera and Donna and Calvin and Oscar busy for her.— JRL
I enjoyed this article save for the last few paragraphs. Who pray tell is looking for a “national mammy”? We’ve elected an African American president, let it be over!! The first couple is hugely popular, why would anyone revert to these stereotypes? The country has indicated they are ready to move on, are you with us Zora or are you going to hold everyone back?— kate dimmock
Isn’t it kinda racist to call Oprah a “mammy”?— yo
Uh. Michelle doesn’t look like a middle class black with her conservative sheathes and straightened hair? She looks very corporate to me.
I’m not complaining. I think she looks great and certainly don’t think major labels represent anything interesting but please, let’s not act like she’s breaking any new fashion ground.
And frankly, I think she looks like a lot of first ladies, very corporate. She’s just taller than most of them. Height does not make you a more powerful person.
Also, to suggest that one of the most powerful women, most powerful people really in media today is a mammy figure.
Other than a shared weight problem, exactly how? The problem all first ladies share is clearly the problem all women share, we confuse physical appearance with personal worthiness.
And as a final aside, I don’t think most Americans share the impressions of the bloggers either way of Michelle Obama.— nSH
amazing this michelle. all her pretty dresses, husband president living in the white house. maybe finally this woman can really say she is proud to be an american, and we really arent all that mean!!!! give me laura any day.