Racism On The Lawn
The lawn jockey is a decorative yard ornament that caricatures black people and promotes the idea of their servitude. Typically a cast replica about half-scale, it depicts a black man dressed in jockey’s clothing carrying a lantern or a metal ring suitable for hitching a horse. The black lawn jockeys often have exaggerated features, such as bulging eyes, large red lips, a flat nose and curly hair. The flesh of the figure is usually a glossy black color.
Traditionally, two styles of lawn jockey have been produced: the stocky, hunched “Jocko” and the taller, thinner “Cavalier Spirit.” Both styles were still manufactured in 2012. Many Americans, especially African Americans, feel that lawn jockeys are racially offensive. It is common for homeowners to repaint the figure’s skin with pink or white paint to avoid charges of being racially insensitive.
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