To close out African American History Month, we present the following trade card (i.e., advertising cards) series, given away in the 1880′s by Higgins Soap. While it does have stereotyped dialect (and one use of “Sambo”), it otherwise (in my opinion) avoids a racist presentation. It’s especially refreshing, in comparison to other cartooned soap advertisements of this period (the worst of which we showed last week). Its presentation of dress & family, would have been typical of any working class family of the time, regardless of race. And the work it shows the mother engaged in throughout the week, would have been the norm for all working class women — the logical target audience for these ads. It also makes it the perfect lead-in to Women’s History Month, about to begin in a few days.
BlackHistory Women’s History AdvertisingStrips