Corporate commissioned Mammy sugar art raising eyebrows and dialog on slavery

DNAinfo.com reports that a massive sculpture at the Williamsburg’s Domino Sugar Factory by black artist Kara Walker was unveiled to the public over the weekend ahead of the factory’s redevelopment.

The sculpture which looks to be made of sugar is giant and some feel is mammy-like in its physical features. Others feel the sculpture can also be interpreted to look like an enslaved African female field hand with strong African features just like the millions who were kidnapped from African and sent to sugar plantations across the Caribbean, North and South America.

The piece is “an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World,” according to the title of the work.

Kara Walker is described as a contemporary African-American artist who explores race, gender, sexuality, violence and identity in her work. Domino Foods, Inc. is a US company owned by American Sugar Refining Inc. that markets sugar under the brand names Domino, C&H, Florida Crystals and Redpath.

Florida Crystals which is a privately held company that is part of FLO-SUN, a sugar empire of the Fanjul Brothers whose origins trace to Spanish-Cuban sugar plantations of the early 19th century which has its roots in slavery.

Domino Foods has come under scrutiny and pressure regarding the sugarcane it imports from the Dominican Republic, which uses child and forced labor in the cane fields there. If executives of American Sugar Refining Inc. and their subsidiaries want a thought provoking piece of art, then Kara Walker did her job.

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One Reply to “Corporate commissioned Mammy sugar art raising eyebrows and dialog on slavery”

  1. This is disrespectful to our ancestors by continuing the objectification of black women. Some may see it as art, to me its hate.

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