A Different World

Season 5 Episode 11

Mammy Dearest

Aired Unknown Dec 05, 1991 on NBC
out of 10
User Rating
18 votes

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Episode Summary

Whitley organizes an art exhibit for the dorm dedication ceremony. Kim has objections to images that Whitley wants to include.

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  • The ceremony for the dedication of Whitley's dorm brings tensions to a head when she includes controversial images of African-Americans.

    What's in a name? Plenty, as Whitley learns.

    She heads up a presentation for the dedication of her residence hall. There are plans for art pieces and other events. What's left in may matter more than what's left out: Whitley wants to use images of so-called 'mammies,' exaggerated figures of African-American women nursemaids.

    The concept may have been used in the past, but is considered by many today to be stereotypical and offensive. Kim is infuriated by the plans and threatens to quit the event. Whitley rebuts her with the notion that in reality, the women in these images were hard-working people who cared for their families and in fact saved many lives. Although they did not get respect back then, they deserve it now.

    Whitley sends Lena to the library to track down some more information. She returns with some interesting stories, all right: turns out Whitley's family owned slaves.

    Horrified by the truth, Whitley wants to shut down the show. Mr. Gaines lets her know that there's nothing she can do about it. It's up to Kim along with Freddie, Lena and Gina to put on a show about the changing image of African-American women in popular culture. The performance is funny, startling and from the heart.

    Another serious episode that deals warmly with its difficult subjects; the cast continues to bring out the best in the characters.moreless
Jasmine Guy

Jasmine Guy

Whitley Marion Gilbert-Wayne (episodes 1 - 21, 23 - 144)

Kadeem Hardison

Kadeem Hardison

Dwayne Cleophus Wayne (episodes 1 - 21, 23 - 144)

Dawnn Lewis

Dawnn Lewis

Jaleesa Vinson-Taylor (seasons 1 - 5)

Charnele Brown

Charnele Brown

Kimberly Reese (seasons 2 - 6)

Cree Summer

Cree Summer

Winifred "Freddie" Brooks (seasons 2 - 6)

Glynn Turman

Glynn Turman

Col. Bradford Taylor (seasons 2 - 6)

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions