Aunt Jemima, Jezebel, and the Pine-Sol Lady: Mothering Against the Perceived Grownness of Black Girls

When my oldest daughter was a mere 18 months old, I shared some pictures from our family vacation. Someone commented that she looked like she had an “attitude.” She was 18 months old. She was having fun in the sprinklers and was posing.

It never occurred to me that if I as a Black woman (symbolically) was portrayed as the maid and revealed a hidden figure, hyper-sexualized, portrayed as the sassy Black woman that my Black daughter would be exempt.

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