Coon-Chicken Inn: Take me home as a souvenir.

Collection: Osher Map Library Collection

Name: Coon-Chicken Inn: Take me home as a souvenir.


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Notes: [This item contains racist and/or derogatory content.] Publisher not identified.

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Dimensions: 26 x 34 cm

Historical Context: This item contains racist and/or derogatory content. The "Coon Chicken Inn" restaurant was founded in 1925 in Salt Lake City, Utah, by Mason Lester Graham and Adelaide Graham, and became a successful chain in the Pacific Northwest until 1957, when the last location closed. The restaurants all featured a derogatory and highly caricatured head of a Black man with a winking eye and a porter's cap, which formed the entry of each restaurant (guests entered through the mouth), and served as the restaurant's logo on a wide variety of promotional items. The blatantly racist nature of the entrance, logo, and promotional materials were protested by local branches of the N.A.A.C.P. throughout the restaurant's existence.  The souvenir map placemat features three of the restaurant's locations, along with the racialized caricature logo of a black man participating in various regional activities (skiing, fishing, sailing, ranching, etc.).  We can tell by the pencil inscription in the lower right-hand corner of the item that it was, in fact, kept as a souvenir, by someone who went to the restaurant with a date after a dance.  Each restaurant location sold a wide variety of souvenirs and collectibles as part of their marketing and advertising strategy.

OCLC: 1268528933


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