Pointer Sister's collection of terrible and important black memorabilia


#1

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#2

There was a memorable episode of “A Different World” where one of the characters, l think it was “Kimberly”, was collecting such things. I don’t remember details, but it covered why she would want to collect such hideous things. She didn’t like them, but thought it important that they not be erased. If nobody collects them, then then there’s no proof of that portrayal.


#3

The most controversial type of black memorabilia are antiques designed with racist caricatures, based on stereotypes that often originated in vaudeville blackface performances. Such imagery proliferated after the Civil War to promote the belief that white people were superior to newly freed black people.

Reddit: Part of a 150 year-old of American Tradition.


#4

One of my neighbors collects antique banks, and one of them is similarly racist. In her will she is leaving her collection to a museum (or maybe a university? I can’t remember) that wanted them…except for the racist one. So I can definitely understand private collectors wanting to preserve this side of history, if even institutions devoted to history don’t want to touch it.


#5

I remember reading (that’s how long ago it was) that Cosby was a major collector of this type of thing, and Spike Lee as well. I’m glad somebody’s making sure these don’t go right down the memory hole. Same goes for racist cartoons. Footnote them, but don’t disappear them.


#6

Skip Gates too:

http://www.theroot.com/articles/history/2013/06/should_blacks_collect_racist_memorabilia.html


#7

Thanks, I didn’t know.

Tried to comment there, but they’re Facebooked, so it’s their loss.


#8

I had a cousin in Ireland who collected a bit of this stuff. I guess over there its acceptable for a white guy to do so. He was very into Americana and collected a lot of US antiques and cultural memorabilia. Rides a Harley, used to shop at an American expat store in Dublin. Basically he said they noone seems to see that part of American history over there, so he felt it was important (and interesting) to have a bit of it in the collection so people could see that edge of things. Sort of “sure I think America is grate but look at the crazy shit they make to celebrate this awful shit they did”. It was kind of weird, and his kids found it embarrassing but I guess it made sense.


#9

I’m going to go on record to say that this kind of thing is awesome (the collecting, not the intent behind the creation of such items). And yeah, everybody should have an interest in this, not just members of the affected groups.

I’m not too old (not too young either), and my slanty eyes grew up eating lemonheads from the local ice cream truck while others snacked on these:

Holy Ching Chong Chow! (thanks Rosie for that expression!). And to be honest, I didn’t think a single thing of it as a child. I just didn’t like cherry flavored stuff.


#10

I think that we all know who the real victims are…


#11

This is how it goes down in my house, I pretend to be offended by my wife’s favorite snacks:

and

(seriously, she actually eats both of these.)

And she hams it up when I buy these:

(actually I don’t eat a lot of crackers, but when I buy them for her and the kid she’s got to crack jokes about it)

And I actually bought these at a local multi-ethnic market (started out as more of a middle eastern market, then expanded into more Russian/eastern bloc type foods as well, now it just seems like a free for all of whatever will sell. One of the coolest markets ever.):

I guess the point is that what is socially acceptable is mutable with time, culture and location. Also, humor can help weaken and defuse tensions.

This is what passes for the “cherry clan” nowadays…:


#12

Didn’t know that they actually changed the Cherry Clan…
I also got my sugar-n-carnuba-wax-fix from lemon heads.


#13

I find the Cheese Nips offensive, because they are a gross also-ran to the far superior Cheez-It.


#14

And we all know that both are inferior to the lard and salt infused “Better Cheddars”…

Man, I really try not to eat all that stuff, but sometimes…


#15

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