Mammy's Cupboard

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Mammy's Cupboard
Mammy's Cupboard Restaurant, Natchez, Mississippi, by Carol M. Highsmith.jpg
General information
Type Restaurant
Architectural style Novelty architecture
Address 555 U.S. 61
Town or city near Natchez, Mississippi
Country United States
Coordinates 31°28′41″N 91°22′17″W / 31.47806°N 91.37139°W / 31.47806; -91.37139Coordinates: 31°28′41″N 91°22′17″W / 31.47806°N 91.37139°W / 31.47806; -91.37139
Opening 1940 (1940)
Height 28 ft (8.5 m)

Mammy's Cupboard (founded 1940)[1] is a roadside restaurant built in the shape of a mammy archetype,[1] located on US Highway 61 south of Natchez, Mississippi. The woman's skirt holds a dining room and a gift shop.[2] The skirt is made out of bricks, and the earrings are horseshoes.[3] She is holding a serving tray while smiling.[4] Mammy's Cupboard has been through several renovations, the exterior has been repaired and the interior refurbished.[5] The restaurant currently serves lunches and desserts.[2]

The restaurant's founder was originally a tour guide of Natchez's nearby antebellum mansions and she believed tourists would also be interested in this type of restaurant.[1] Also a mammy character had been portrayed in the very popular 1939 film Gone With the Wind, about the same time plans for the restaurant were being made.[1] During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s the Mammy's skin was repainted a lighter shade.[1] The current owner said of the Mammy, "There is honor in everything you do and for those who have young people. You have a crying child. Who are they going to run to? Nine times out of ten, they are going to run to the mammy...I want people to look at her and see that."[6]

The author of Crossings: A White Man's Journey Into Black America described the restaurant as "a massive statue—twenty-eight feet high—of a black woman dressed like Aunt Jemima, wearing a red scarf, a white blouse, and a red hoopskirt that actually houses a restaurant",[7] while the authors of Frommer's USA said that if you want to visit the restaurant, "you need to check your political correctness at the door".[8] The restaurant's homemade pie was covered in the book American Pie[9] and the newspaper The Press Democrat for National Pie Day.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Butko, Brian; Butko, Sarah (2005). Roadside Giants. Stackpole Books. p. 7. ISBN 978-0-8117-3228-4. 
  2. ^ a b Jensen, Jamie (2009). Road Trip USA. Avalon Travel. p. 281. ISBN 978-1-59880-101-9. 
  3. ^ Hinckley, Jim; Robinson, Jon G. (2005). The Big Book of Car Culture. MotorBooks International. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-7603-1965-9. 
  4. ^ Carter Kirkpatrick, Marlo (2007). Mississippi, off the beaten path. Globe Pequot. p. 164. ISBN 978-0-7627-4422-0. 
  5. ^ "Mammy's Cupboard". Roadside America. 
  6. ^ Norris, Michele (2010). The grace of silence. Random House Digital. ISBN 978-0-307-37876-7. 
  7. ^ Harrington, Walt (1999). Crossings: a white man's journey into Black America. University of Missouri Press. p. 124. ISBN 978-0-8262-1259-7. 
  8. ^ Warnock, Kathleen; Kraus, Naomi (2009). Frommer's USA. Frommer's. p. 435. ISBN 978-0-470-38746-7. 
  9. ^ Le Draoulec, Pascale (2003). American Pie: Slices of Life (and Pie) from America's Back Roads. HarperCollins. pp. 82–84. ISBN 978-0-06-095732-2. 
  10. ^ Michele Anna Jordon (January 21, 2009). "Rejoice! It's National Pie Day". The Press Democrat. 

External links[edit]