Real Black Grandmothers: A Digital Archive

A pink background with the faces of two older Black women. One is facing the camera, wearing a pink shirt, and has her gray hair pulled up in a bun. She is leaning against a Black woman with straight black hair and an orange t-shirt who appears to be looking past the camera. RDNE Stock project/Pexels

“Real Black Grandmothers” is a digital archive of “personal accounts, cultural artifacts, living and oral histories that captures the remarkable and diverse experiences of Black grandmothers and their grandchildren from the past to the present.” The accounts and artifacts cover a vast array of topics including coping/grief, money/finances, rituals, and work.

“While there are many stereotypes and archetypes of Black grandmothers (e.g., mammy, Aunt Jemima, Tyler Perry’s Madea, Martin Lawrence’s Big Mama, etc…) no archive solely dedicated to their experiences exists. Real Back Grandmothers distinguishes between Black grandmothers’ lived experiences and Black grandmothers as romanticized, pathologized, and caricaturized beings.”