ISSN: 17503159
First published in 2007
3 issues per volume
Volume 4 Issue 2
Cover Date: December 2010
Engaging an icon: Caroline, or Change and the politics of representation
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Authors:  Aaron C. Thomas 
DOI: 10.1386/smt.4.2.199_1

Keywords
stereotypes,black woman,mammy,Jeanine Tesori,Tony Kushner,Caroline, or Change,

Abstract

This essay discusses Tony Kushner and Jeanine Tesori's 2003 musical Caroline, or Change by examining the show as a continuation of the legacy of the USAmerican icon of the mammy. The essay discusses the main elements of the mammy as an icon and its legacy in literature, illuminating ways in which the eponymous Caroline differs from and is similar to this enduring trope. Because one of the mammy's most significant characteristics is her motherhood of white children, the essay also discusses in detail motherhood as a theme in Kushner and Tesori's musical. It is this author's contention that Kushner's critical engagement of the mammy trope revitalizes and reclaims this stereotype as a real historical force for political change.
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