Wednesday, June 9, 2010

African-Americana by Barbara E. Mauzy: Kitschy Collector Book Review

African Americana: An Important Reference Book On Black Americana and Collectibles

Are you familiar with Barbara E. Mauzy's book out called "African Americana", published by Schiffer Books?
Barbara is a veteran author of books about kitchen collectibles and now has once again worked very hard to contribute a superb resource book on a topic which is not only complex but evokes lot's of powerful feelings.

Black Memorabilia Increases In Value

Many collectors are quite interested in Black memorabilia and collectibles and the values for these important objects have sky rocketed in recent years. This is the type of collectible which crosses over into many different and overlapping areas. Barbara's book concentrates on collectibles of the kitchen an home.

Black Americana Collectibles: Whimsical Treasures Or Memories of Despicable Times

For many lovers of kitchen collectibles, objects often bring cherished memories of family and special times. Many kitchen-wares that are collected have special meaning to the individual buying them or are part of a collection of a themed grouping, such as "salt and pepper shakers" or "chalkware". For many casual collectors or buyers, they do not yet appreciate the social or historical significance of the Mammy cookie jar or wall pockets they are buying. These collectors may have their own reason for buying such kitchen-wares, including the possibility that mom or grandma had similar ones sitting on the counter or hanging on the wall in their kitchens.

Preserving The African American Legacy

Yet another collector of African Americana may be interested in the historical, social and cultural significance of these collectibles. For example, many ceramic and chalkware kitchen-wares show stereotyped images of African Americans, perhaps with exaggerated lips or wide opened frightened eyes, or even a slice of watermelon in hand. Such stereotypes were used to reinforce notions of racial superiority and are painful reminders of American history. But as despicable as these times were, they are important markers of the legacy of African Americans.

Black Memorabilia Once Considered Politically Incorrect Kitsch

Once considered politically incorrect kitsch, black memorabilia, housewares, ceramics, ephemera, photography etc. is now prized by many collectors of all backgrounds who cherish a significant aspect of American History, the African -American experience.

Mauzy's Book On African Americana Is A Price Guide Which Covers The Cultural Context Of These Collectibles

Barbara Mauzy's book is a price guide which not only showcases a huge collection of Black Americana but also presents the historical and cultural context of these artifacts. There is so much to learn in this 192 page full color book.

Topics Include: Ephemera, kitchenware, housewares, figurines, spice sets, decorative plates, wall pockets, planters, ephemera, advertising, barware, wall decor, photographic images, pinback buttons, ceramics, laundry,banks, clocks, books, games, dolls, ash trays,novelty items and more.
C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Authors Guild, Inc.


  1. Diane,
    I have a set of those small "plastic" ( I know they aren't) black couple S&P shakers, they were my there somewhere other than buying this book I could find out about them? I don't even know what they are called, or I would look them up on Google! Thanks! Sandy

  2. The book looks awesome! Can't wait to get one!