Residents of a North Carolina retirement home were outraged last week over what they said was a racist image on a calendar.
The calendar was given to residents at the Bradley Creek Health Center at Carolina Bay and detailed the center’s holiday information. The document featured a cartoon of a black woman who appeared to be a slave.
The black woman in the cartoon is standing in front of a window and has exaggerated lips and eyes.
Two black employees at the center brought the calendar to the attention of the local NAACP chapter, according to the Wilmington Journal.
“This (calendar) is demeaning,” Deborah Dicks Maxwell president of the New Hanover County NAACP told the newspaper. “It is appalling that in 2017 this is still occurring.”
The NAACP held a press conference last week addressing their concerns.
In response, the center issued a statement apologizing for the picture, and fired the employee who used the cartoon in the calendar, according to multiple reports.
“Why didn’t she put some holly? Why didn’t she put a tree? Why put a caricature of a race that has been demeaned forever?” Maxwell said at a press conference, according to TV station WWAY.
The cartoon played on the caricature called “mammy,” a racist trope dating back to the antebellum south. The caricature was used as proof that black women during the pre-Civil War era were happy as slaves.
The caricature, along with other racist tropes, were used during slavery and through Jim Crow, and appeared in everything from film and literature, to toys and advertisements.