Thursday, May 19, 2011

“MAMEE” at Kenmore Middle School
May 1 – 3, 2011  
Music is heard offstage.  A little white girl pretends to be a rabbit.  The child enters stage left.  She plays and dances to the song “Mamee”.

Song:          Lil Rabbi where’s ya Mamee
                   Lil Rabbi where’s ya Mamee
                   Lil Rabbi where’s ya Mamee
                   Down in Alabamee

Mamee:       (black girl playing the role of Mamee enters stage left)  Little white girl jumps in Mamee’s arms.  Mamee and the child dance together.  The child sits and watches Mamee dance for her.  Mamee and the child dance together to the song
Lil Rabbi where’s ya Mamee
                   Lil Rabbi where’s ya Mamee
                   Lil Rabbi where’s ya Mamee
                   Down in Alabamee
Then Mamee dances a solo.  We can assume Mamee is called to the cotton field, or to clean, cook, or nurse the other white baby, or just take care of the Masters needs.
The white child exits stage right and Mamee, singing, and dancing exits stage left.
This song was not entertaining to African-Americans then or now!, especially African-American women who were enslaved and forced, against their will to dance to “that” song and the music, they were raped to that song and the music, “uncle” played banjo while they (Ant and Mamee) worked the cotton fields, from sun up to sun down, and gave birth to children born into slavery; and that song and the music was played loud as black little girls were raped, on those plantations, by white and black men, most little girls were rapped a the tender age of 10, as plantation owners bragged that there “…ain’t a 14 year old virgin on the place.”  Mamee was in the making as early as 5 years old, virginity lost by 10 years old. 
Mamee’s biggest responsibility/job was to produce slaves to be sold at auction.  Mamee was required to produce no less than 25 to 30 children (that is a quota) for the master.  Mamee witnessed all of her children taken from her and sold to the highest bidder.  Mamee’s other job was wet nurse to all babies, especially the masters’ family and any other baby on the plantation.  Mamee was  loaned out to other family members to nurse their babies if she was “titted up” enough. 
Another job for Mamee was to train the little black children to serve the white people , call them master and mistress, and to make sure they understood they were slaves. 
          If Mamee refused to do any parts of her job she ran the risk of being stripped down to her skin, hung from polls by her arms, beaten across her back with a whip, and then sold to a meaner master.  This was standard operation down in “Alabamee” and other parts of the United States and Arlington, VA during slavery. 
          The role of the slave man in Mamee’s life was to stand by silently, with his head hung low, and refuse to watch the mother of his children being raped by the master and give birth to the master’s children – who were also sold into slavery.
          What a horrible time to be alive!
          This dance number was presented to Carlin Springs Elementary School children and Kenmore School Children and then to the general public in May 2011.

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