Yesha Callahan

Get Ready For The “Gone With The Wind” Mammy Prequel


Mammy has a name and back story. It’s been 75 years since the publication of  Margaret Mitchell’s “Gone With The Wind”, and Mammy is getting the attention she deserves (eye rolls).  Mammy (now known as Ruth) will be the subject of a soon to be released prequel that will give the back-story of her life.

“Ruth’s Journey,” begins in 1804, when Ruth is brought from Haiti to Savannah, GA. The author, Donald McCaig, who already has two “Gone With The Wind” sequels under his belt, said he wanted a sequel based on Ruth, who he referred to as  sharp-tongued, loving, sensitive and deeply moral.

“It was Donald’s idea, instead of doing another sequel, to go backwards,” Peter Borland, the editorial director of Atria (the company publishing the book), said. “He felt that Mammy was such a fascinating and crucial character to the book. He wanted to flesh out a story of her own.”

Borland also went on to say the book will address the previous criticisms Margaret Mitchell received because of the portrayal of Mammy.

From The New York Times:

Mitchell was criticized for the one-dimensional nature of many African-American characters in the book, particularly Mammy, who cared for the fiery Southern belle Scarlett O’Hara. An unauthorized parody of the classic novel, “The Wind Done Gone,” published in 2001 over the objections of the Mitchell estate, was told from the perspective of a slave whose mother was Mammy.

Mr. Borland said the new book addresses those criticisms head on.

“What’s really remarkable about what Donald has done is that it’s a book that respects and honors its source material, but it also provides a necessary correction to what is one of the more troubling aspects of the book, which is how the black characters are portrayed,” Mr. Borland said.

In an email, Mr. McCaig, 73, who lives on a farm in Virginia, said that he was drawn to write about Ruth because there are “three major characters in ‘Gone With the Wind,’ but we only think about two of them.”

“Scarlett and Rhett are familiars, but when it comes to the third, we don’t know where she was born, if she was ever married, if she ever had children,” he said. “Indeed, we don’t even know her name,” he said. “Ruth’s Journey” also fleshes out the story of one of the more compelling figures in “Gone With the Wind,” Ellen Robillard O’Hara, the matriarch of the clan, who dies at the Tara plantation during the Civil War. Among the other new plot twists Mr. McCaig dreamed up: Ruth, has an early marriage that was not broached in “Gone With the Wind”; and she has a connection to Rhett Butler’s family that explains her hostile behavior toward Rhett later in the classic novel.

Also, coming soon, “Ruth” the movie, staring a really obnoxious,  sassy, heavyset  black woman. Don’t front, you know it’s bound to happen.


  1. March 27, 2014 - Reply

    I understand what the issue is here regarding the mammy stereotype.

    I feel as if we can have this conversation without including a specific author in the discussion. I had never heard of McCaig prior to this post, and because of this online attention his name will probably be trending online by lunch time.

    We can rant on this post all day, and that still will not stop this man from writing this book. According to the post, he lives on a farm, isolated from society. He is going to do what he wants, and Hollywood seems to enjoy making this type of film.

    Just make sure you don’t support this type of portrayal, especially financially.

    All this is media coverage is doing is giving this man free publicity.

  2. March 27, 2014 - Reply

    OMG…I sweat I’ve argued till I’m blue in face with people about why movies like “12 years a slave” winning oscars are, in context, problematic. Nobody wanted to hear it..and now there’s a Mammy movie. I. just. can’t. -___-

    • March 27, 2014 - Reply

      @bk chick

      Meant to say, Mammy book..but, like the author, wouldn’t be surprised if this were made into a movie

  3. March 27, 2014 - Reply

    so… what he tryna tell us is he about to give white folks a reason to pull some “but mammy was so nice in the book, i meant it as a compliment when i said i wish you could be my mammy” b/s. right? a book about happy negros being happy to please the misunderstood white folks. can y’all hear me sucking my teeth thru the screen?

  4. March 27, 2014 - Reply

    I wasn’t interested in watching Gone with the Wind and I’m not interested in seeing this either.

  5. March 27, 2014 - Reply

    Southerners are a weird group.

    Now that I’m living in Atlanta with my husband there is not a day that goes by that I don’t wish I was back home in LA.

    They have whole sections of the library devoted to nothing but the Civil War. Gone With The Wind is their most celebrated book. They have whole groups of white women who write books about the in and outs of Gone With The Wind. Even some of the black people here have romanticized this book. It’s crazy to me.

  6. March 27, 2014 - Reply

    If folks keep going out in droves to see these slave movies, making these white folks millions by telling only one part of our history (the part THEY are comfortable telling), they will continue to make them. Bet money on that!

  7. March 27, 2014 - Reply

    13 Years A Slave. Oh, Joy!

  8. March 27, 2014 - Reply

    This is just further proof of why I’ve been telling black folks to STOP going to see these damn movies!!! I haven’t supported any of the slave/mammy/Jim Crow era movies they’ve been popping out for the past 3 years. No 12 Years A Slave, no Butler, No Django, no nothin’! If Hollywood sees they can get paid by making them, they will continue to make them. Now watch when this becomes a movie, folks gonna be mad. You can’t be mad at the monster you helped to create.

  9. March 27, 2014 - Reply

    another movie I wont waste my time and or money on.

  10. March 27, 2014 - Reply

    I’m in the minority here, but 12 years has nothing to do with this book/movie, 12 years made less than $50M while it was out, it was not a blockbuster. It was celebrated because of the acting and because it held no punches, nothing else.

    The book is not being written b/c they think we as a community will appreciate it, they already know how polarizing mammy is to the black community, they do it for the same reason why they like and will support Gabriele sidoube (sp) more than they do nia long, senaa lathan, gabrielle union, tika sumpter etc, etc…mammy is non-threatening and asexual, and to be honest, I don’t think they even see her as human. This is about them reliving their fond memories of the only type of bw they accept, well, other than the whoring jezebel with 5 kids 10 baby daddies, but she’s their second choice.

  11. March 28, 2014 - Reply

    Now another fat girl black girl gets a role in Hollywood. They love big black women because shes no threat.

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