Episode 156: The Statue of Liberty, Revisited

Posted 6 July 2020 by
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courtesy, Ahundt via Pixabay

Time Travel With The History Chicks

For photos, recommendations, and links to things we talked about today, click on over to our original STATUE OF LIBERTY SHOWNOTES.



We would like to say thanks to the sponsors of this episode! Did you know that when you support the companies that support us, YOU become a sponsor, too? Thank you!


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Episode 155: Aunt Jemima

Posted 26 June 2020 by
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Nancy Green was the first of several women who played the role to sell pancake mix 

In 1889, Aunt Jemima crossed from the footlights to the grocery store, where she’s been a fixture for 131 years. On the eve of her departure, we give you the dark history of this American icon – and the stories of a few women who made her come alive.

Aunt Jemima was not a real woman nor did she represent reality. She was the embodiment of a post-civil war, overly romanticized stereotype designed to make (white) people feel nostalgia for the antebellum South…and in this case, she was also used to sell pancake mix.

We’ll give you the history of the Aunt Jemima brand, its roots in minstrel shows, it’s launch at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and the path of Nancy Green and others hired to play the character of Aunt Jemima. They played her so well, that some people still think that Jemima was a real formerly enslaved woman who pulled herself out of poverty by selling her pancake mix. Some people even think that the Mammy character of stage, screen, and marketing campaign is an accurate portrayal of a family servant.

Some people are very, very wrong.

Time Travel With The History Chicks


By M M Manring


By Toni Tipton-Martin


By Merilyn Kern-Foxworth


By Isabel WIlkerson


The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan has amassed a collection of racist artifacts from Reconstruction to modern-day including a collection of Mammies from advertising pieces to fishing lures and an explanation of the Mammy myth.

The history of Olivet Baptist Church, Chicago–Nancy Green’s church.

If you love to nerd out over legal documents, here’s Aunt Jemima Mills Co v. Rigney and Co.

Can we ever get enough information about the 1893 World’s Fair? No, we can not. Here’s a nice long article about the terrible treatment of Black Americans at our favorite fair (although we do NOT like this part one bit!)

If you would like to help put the headstone on Nancy Green’s grave, here is the fundraiser!

The original REAL, gen-u-INE article, Aunt Jemima syrup bottle and the Betwitched ad for it.

We have Pinterest boards for every episode including this one: Aunt Jemima 

Moving Pictures!


The Cakewalk dance!


Break song: Slow Cookin’ by Joe and the Spicey Pickles

End song: Character Assasin by Seconds Before

Used with special permission from iLicense


Episode 154: Fannie Lou Hamer

Posted 15 June 2020 by
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Fannie giving her testimony in 1964 at the Democratic National Convention…despite the president’s attempts to silence her.

Fannie Lou Hamer was called the “Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement” and, sometimes, “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement” and both are very appropriate. (more…)

Episode 153: Catherine the Great, *Part Two of an entirely true story

Posted 8 June 2020 by
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Elle Fanning will mature and look exactly like the real Catherine. Maybe. Probably not.

Are you watching Hulu’s series, The Great, and wondering what the real story of Catherine the Great is?  We’ll finish up her life in this episode, so you can do your own comparing and contrasting. We left Catherine at the end of Part One alone, sad, and directionless. The perfect time for a woman to make some life changes, right?

Oh yeah. (more…)

Episode 152: Catherine the Great *An entirely true story

Posted 25 May 2020 by
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The real Catherine and Peter

Have you watched Hulu’s The Great yet? It’s a new series based on the life of Catherine the Great. It’s funny, bawdy, beautifully costumed and shot in some very lovely locations (mostly in the UK) but how true is it? The graphics tell us, right upfront, that it’s “an occasionally true story” so we’re warned. BUT there is just enough truth to make even us pause and Google, so we thought that a revisit was in order. This episode was originally posted in 2016, and we’ve remastered the audio as best as possible.  (more…)

Episode 151: Zephyr Wright

Posted 14 May 2020 by
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Not all civil rights activists lead marches, sometimes their contributions are quiet and out of the spotlight. We talk a lot about the women who have the bullhorn in their hands and are leading the charge, but what about the women who work behind the scenes? The women whose contributions aren’t well known but are, nevertheless, important? Zephyr Wright was one of those women.

Zephyr, far right with her handbag*, as President Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1964. *fairly certain that’s her, she wasn’t in front of the camera much!


A Chicks Check-in

Posted 28 April 2020 by
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We wanted to take a minute to update you on things from this side of the mic, and brag about our friends in our Facebook private group who have started some really fun group projects.  You can join us in The History Chicks Lounge, and join our Book Club on Goodreads!


We’ll be back in a couple weeks with the story of a woman we really want you to know!

End song, Curious Women by John Williams used with permission from iLicense

Episode 150: Margaret Brown and the Titanic Revisited, Anniversary Edition

Posted 15 April 2020 by
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The 108th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic is happening the week we posted this in 2020, during a worldwide pandemic…what a better time to talk about a maritime disaster, right? Wait, come back! It’s inspirational! Margaret “Molly” Brown was brave and smart and kept her wits about her as the Titanic hit an iceberg and sank in 1912. After our discussion of Margaret, come with us on a Field Trip to the Titanic traveling exhibit. it’s like you’re with us!


Episode 149: “Typhoid” Mary Mallon

Posted 1 April 2020 by
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New York American 1909

Mary Mallon was a hardworking Irish immigrant in early 1900s New York City. She was strong, determined, and a good cook with both an extraordinary cussing vocabulary and a high concentration of Salmonella typhi in her digestive tract. Because of the latter, which she refused to accept and couldn’t, or wouldn’t, control the spread of, she was imprisoned for the latter portion of her life.


Episode 148: Annie Malone and Madam C.J. Walker

Posted 17 March 2020 by
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Annie Turnbo Post Malone

Annie Turnbo Malone, circa 1920, via wikicommons, fair use

Netflix has created, Self Made, a limited series on the life of Madam C.J. Walker starring Octavia Spencer. This series is only “based on” her life so we figured that a refresher of the facts was important. However, we know that Madam C.J. Walker got her hair care education, her business template, and her professional start thanks to Annie Malone and her Poro college, and Annie entered the Millionaires Club before the woman who usually gets credit for it. We thought Annie deserved a little time in the spotlight, too.