Mammy’s Cupboard (founded in 1940). Roadside restaurant built in the shape of a mammy archetype, located at 555 US Highway 61 south of Natchez, Mississippi. The Mammy was built by Henry Gaude (pronounced go-day) in 1939-40. Gaude had a gas station, and wanted to capitalize on the current craze at the time for Gone With the Wind. He built a roadhouse in the shape of a mammy. The Mammy stands at 28′-0″ high. The skirt holds a dining room and a gift shop and is made out of brick, the earrings are horseshoes. The statue holds a serving tray while smiling. Mammy’s Cupboard has been through several renovations, the exterior having been repaired and the interior renovated. The original Mammy was much darker in color, but, during the Civil Rights Movement, her skin was considerably lightened.
The original restaurant owner was a tour guide for Natchez antebellum slave plantation mansions and felt that people would love seeing this effrontery to the womanhood of Black women. It remains a family-owned restaurant that is primarily open for lunch.
The restaurant tagline states: “Humble restaurant serving lunch classics & homemade pie in a unique building shaped like a woman.”
The present owner of the Mammy is stated as saying: “There is honor in everything you do and for those who have young people. You have a crying child. Who are they going to run to? Nine times out of ten, they are going to run to the mammy… I want people to look at her and see that.”