Lady Told Lawn Jockey Is Racist, Sets Them Straight With What It Really Means

After being told by a few of her friends that her long-standing lawn ornament – a black jockey holding a lantern – was racist, a woman finally became fed up with the ignorance. In order to set the record straight, the woman has since written a viral Facebook post, explaining what the statue really means – and it’s blown quite a few people away.

Lawn ornaments are a thing of American culture – the most popular being things like the pink flamingos, garden gnomes, and the black jockey that is usually at the end of the driveway. As it turns out, Sandra Dee McNair has one such yard decoration, which she refers to as her “lantern footman.”

Although she hasn’t thought too much about having it up, it seems that her friends have commented a time or two about it. As outlined in her post gone viral, “I’ve had black people say you shouldn’t have that out that way ‘it makes people think you are a racist’ I laugh, or ‘its offensive to white people’ again I laugh and then explain what the significance of the lantern footman really is.”

(Photo Source: Facebook)

Then, she let everyone in on the lesser known reality about what she claims the footmen really represents:

I’m really amazed at how a lot of people don’t know the real meaning behind these statues, so they vandalize them, bitch about them being racist, etc. When the image of a black ‘footman’ with a lantern signified the home was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Although the custom was primarily seen in the northern states, the jockeys were eventually brought down south just after WWII, as people moved for various reasons. Sandra also states that the footmen were coded, based on what they were wearing.

She went on to explain:

The clothing of the statue was also coded. A striped jockey’s shirt meant that this was a place to swap horses, while a footman in a tailed coat meant overnight lodgings/food, and a blue sailor’s waistcoat meant the homeowner could take you to a port and get you on a ship to Canada

Sandra Dee McNair (Photo Source: Facebook)

Sandra says that she actually laughs at those who say her ornament is racist, simply saying that they don’t understand what they really represent. Although they look at it and see a black man, Sandra says those who used to have these in their yards “were likely the LEAST racist” people of society.

Although Sandra’s claims about the lawn jockey have not been proven to the satisfaction of Snopes, historian and author Charles Blockson, who is also curator of the Afro-American Collection at Temple University in Philadelphia, says otherwise. “These statues were used as markers on the Underground Railroad throughout the South into Canada,” says Blockson. “Green ribbons were tied to the arms of the statue to indicate safety; red ribbons meant to keep going.”

It’s always funny to me when things that have a negative connotation actually have roots in something good. Ignorance can surely get in the way of things, and that has only been made clearer during recent times, as the entitled members of a society continue looking for a reason to claim “racism” and get offended. Lucky for us, there are folks out there like Sandra, willing to not only set the record straight, but shut up those who don’t actually know what they’re talking about.

156 thoughts on “Lady Told Lawn Jockey Is Racist, Sets Them Straight With What It Really Means

    1. Since one branch of my 17th century American family were Quakers, who STARTED AND MAINTAINED THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD, i’m happy to hear of that significance of the jockey. I’ve seen them in front of houses, and it always seemed as if it were a symbol of “Welcome” or elegance, or comfort—-sorta like Aunt Jemima on the front of one’s box of pancake mix! I guess we all equate large black women to Mammy from Gone With the Wind. She’s been described as the “Emily Post” of the O’Hara household. She was always there with both a fist full of admonition (Miz Scarlett, yo can’t show yore bosom before 6:00 in the evenin'” , but a boatload of empathy…remember Bonnie Blue’s tragic death? I shall pass this information along to my Civil War Auxiliary to Sons of Union Veterans.

    2. I also did some checking into the lawn Jockey. Please check into JOCKO, he was the son of Tom Graves who served under George Washington. His son was 12 yrs .old and wanted to serve ,but was not allowed he was too young He was allowed to be a stable boy. When Washington was getting ready to cross the Delaware for the battle of Trenton. Jocko volunterred to stay with the horses and hold a lantern so they could find there way in the storm. Washington was gone longer that expected and Jocko froze to death on the river bank. Washington was so moved by this childs dedication he had a statue made in his honor. That is the story I found and that is why some are holding a ring and some a lantern. As time we on the clothing changes and they were used as signals in the Underground Railroad. Linda Latulippe

  1. great new sandra great job if we had more women like you there would be no racist slurs among us today, that was very educational thank you who said that old dog cant learn new tricks well i did today i have seen numerous statues such as your and never new the meaning of one such statue history well never die with thing that most people never new thank you

    1. In August of 2001, there was a NY Times article about Hattie McDaniel–the leftist writer tried to make her feel ashamed of playing a Mammy. She said she had no shame, she had a choice. She could work as a maid or play one in a move and make ten times as much.

  2. I have a “lantern footman” very similar to that one. It was given to me by a business associate involved in theater and dance who had inherited it from his parents. He had it displayed in the yard on his farm, but received so many negative comments that is was racist and politically incorrect he ending up banishing the lawn jockey to the woods where no one would see him and become offended.

    While I have had friends comment on him (and not so positively), I felt that he was a part of history (but never knew exactly how). Thanks for sharing.

      1. funny you should say “real McCoy!!! Mike Rowe just read a story on his page about a young man born in Canada of former slaves (who had gotten there by the underground railway). this man worked hard for the railroad and invented and patented many inventions that benefited industry/ and us 🙂 his name was McCoy. his first invention was copied by others but didn’t work as well as his. so having the Real McCoy meant you had a good working model.

    1. Put it back out, but mounted with a sign explaining the significance. ‘I was part of the Underground Railroad, I stand here for Freedom’, or something of the sort.

      1. We used to call that “running your mouth before putting your brain in gear”! Always glad to learn. Thanks for the schooling. Extremely interesting.

          1. My name is Joan also. Just read the post and was amazed at how clever the system was.
            Thank you for teaching what it really means. I would have helped those poor people!

      2. It is a case of opening your mouth before engaging your brain. Total ignorance on there part for even suggesting it is racist.

        1. if it was not for the racist who took this land and enslaved and kills the original African-Indians then we would not assume what things mean

          1. The first slave owner was black. American Indians also took the land.. Read a book and stop your nonsense. Please.

  3. Wow that is really cool! Thanks for explaining the meaning of the lawn jockey! Also thank you for not giving into the “that’s racist” expression! It has been used over and over again! Smart lady!

  4. That’s very interesting. We may need these again in the near future, for other categories of people, so it’s good to know!

  5. We had some in Duluth, MN on Arrowhead Road. Know-it-alls got involved and I am not sure whether or not the ACLU was involved or not but the property owner was forced to remove them. Too bad our city officials didn’t know the history. Your article is interesting and informative. Thanks.

  6. We still have the first amendment right allowing free speech? Backed up by the second, to use arms to protect the other rights, correct?

  7. My first thought is”Really they had these types of plaster statues when Harriet Tubman was around? Seriously?” This sounds like fake news to me. I would like to see better documentation.

    1. Are you not aware that ‘plaster’ statuary has been in existence for thousands of years? They even had paint back then. The art of plaster-casting, pottery, and ceramics is ancient.

      1. Some people have no concept of history.The Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and many others had statues made up of plaster , marble and metals that still exist today.

    2. I can’t provide any “documentation” for you, but I can tell you this: Harriet Tubman died in 1913. My grandmother was born in 1873. She always talked about seeing statues like this as she was growing up, but didn’t know (or say) what they meant, only that she liked them. So, yes, they had these statues when Harriet Tubman was around. I’m so sick of people who believe nothing and bleat “fake news” at every opportunity.

      1. Mary you are so correct in what you said, know it alls that know nothing but yet they will try and put words in your mouth to make you look ignorant…………..I am so sick of racism

    3. The only ones I have ever seen growing up in the South were holding a metal ring. They were always at the end of sidewalks or driveways. A lot of times there would be a concrete steppingstone with two steps next to them. I grew up thinking they were to tie your horse to while visiting and the stone was to help you get on and off the horse. In Hunt country, Tennessee every farm has one next to a steppingstone. I’m confused. Where I am from they are still highly collectible.

      1. I lived where there was a stepping stone in front of my house back in the late 40’s. I loved playing around it. I also agree w/ you re: the metal ring.

      2. You are right about the stepping stone is to get out of carriages so the females ankle would not show. If they stepped from carriage to ground the ankle would show and that was not to be. If you notice most old churches, schools and big farms, ranches and plantations had big flat rocks for the richer clientele. Since all kids and financial classes went to church and school. Poor farmers had wagons so they didn’t have rocks.

    4. They originally were cast in iron or concrete with Iron rings. They had to be solid and heavy so a horse could be tied to them and not be able to walk away. They were originally hitching posts so they were around in the 1800’s.

    5. Then you never have been around in the likes of Pa, WV, MD and a bunch more states! I grew up seeing these all over and never once thought of them as racist! The far left has twisted the mind of so many of young people to the point that the few hurt feels out weighs the many! Now we have cry rooms at college campuses! Our National History is being lost, not being taught is schools any more! Who sleeping with who is now this countries main concern! Really?
      I would love to have a whole set of these on my lawn with a note saying learn your history for what each one stands for then after that, you can complain if you still have a problem!

    6. hahaha Yep, just as they had plaster and stone statues during Jesus’s time, which I believe preceded the 1800’s. smh

    7. Does the world IRON mean anything to you, RINEE! Probably NOT! Quilts on the clothes line were supposed to have significance also. I’m certain that many devices were used to steer the fleeing slaves clear of capture! i’ve NEVER SEEN ANY KIND OF MONUMENT TO THE QUAKERS WHO RISKED THEIR WELLBEING FOR TRANSPORTING AND ASSISTING FLEEING SLAVES! BUT HARRIET TAUBMAN GOT ON THE TEN-DOLLAR BILL. WHAT EXACTLY DID SHE DO THAT MERITS THAT? o SUPPOSE THAT THIS IS AS POLITICALLY INCORRECT QUESTION????

      1. Harriet Tubman risked her freedom and her life to help other slaves escape to the North. After escaping slavery herself, she made 13 subsequent trips back South and helped rescue approximately 70 families and friends escape slavery. She was also a spy for the Union Army. Do some research. I’ve started it for you. Here’s the link to her biography on Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Tubman

    8. They were made out of Cast Iron, not plaster. and this is a true depiction of their use in the underground railroad.

      1. Charles Blockson, a historian and collector of Underground Railroad artifacts, claims that from the late 1700s through the Civil War, lawn jockeys were used to warn escaped slaves of danger or to signal that a building was a safe house. 4 A brightly colored ribbon or fabric tied to the statue’s arm or a lighted lantern affixed in its hands sent messages to runaway slaves: red meant danger and green, safety.

        http://www.ferris.edu/htmls/news/jimcrow/question/july08/index.htm

    9. I’m with you. The explanation sounds too simple. And wouldn’t having a black jockey out front advertise that you are part of the underground railroad?

      1. Not if they were common as hitching posts. You just change the paint to be a part of the code. Since they would need “maintenance” at some point a new coat of paint wouldnt be suspicious. Or you tie a “scarf” around his neck.

    10. I agree with Rinee…sounds like an excuse. The ‘statues’ were designed to have people tie up their horse. Richer people had blacks as slaves or servants that would take care of the visitor’s horses. Sounds like a reverse engineered excuse to openly be racist and hide behind an excuse like flying the confederate flag. People can pretend they are ‘defending’ history, when things like that should be left in a museum. I find it hard to believe in the days before the internet that such an intricate code/clothing system could exist and be known, while keeping that information from authorities. So people created/purchased these statues in various uniforms for the sole purpose of hoping someone sneaking north would happen to stumble across their statue and take a chance that the person would not turn them in? Does that even SOUND like it makes sense? If someone asked their neighbor why they had the statue, and they liked their ‘excuse’…what if they bought one to look ‘fancy’ too? Just because something is on the internet does not make it true. And just because a lot of people write about something does not make it true. Historical paperwork/documentation/written accounts from the time. Just for reference, my 13 year old’s history book had a picture of Lincoln’s inauguration…only it wasn’t. It was a picture from his SECOND inauguration. So we cannot even trust so called ‘trusted’ sources of information as 100% credible.

      1. John try going to a civil war re-enactment. We do these to educate the ignorant. Yes they had codes back then. Have you heard about quilts being hung on the clothesline so. They had designs on them to direct runaway slaves what direction to go.

    11. They were made of concrete. The plaster ones you saw were cheap copies made to sell to people that did not know better.

  8. I knew that they signified a safe haven in the Underground Railroad, learned about it way back in school, but I did not know the significance of the cloths they wore! Thank you for the reminder and the added information!

      1. 100% correct about snopes. Why should we automatically believe any fact-checking site simply coz they claim to be factually correct? Who fact-checks the fact checkers?

  9. It was the same mindless BS that started the controversy over the Confederate Flag. Just stupid people who want to do nothing but re-write our history. Liberals be damned!

    1. Apples vs oranges. Don’t think the Underground railroad equates to the stars and bars. One is helping humanity while the other was defying our nation and lead to the death of hundreds of thousands. My independent opinion.

  10. even if that was not the case. what is wrong with a black jocky? Am I missing something? Why is it a shame to have an ornament that is a black jocky? I am not American so I don’t understand why a back jocky statue is racist

    1. Because Dumb asses in our country who have no life like to make others feel bad and pull them down so they feel important (to themselves)

  11. A great article. I never knew the significance of the figures. I never thought about them being black or white, just lawn decs. I thank the writer for posting this story. I will now look at them with a new understanding.

  12. Figures “Snopes” wasn’t satisfied.I think its great and “Snopes “has been known to not always get the facts straight!

    1. Of course Snopes wasn’t satisfied. It puts too favorable a connotation on a statue Snopes would love to represent racism. People need to understand that Snopes is not all that truthful in their investigations or reportings.

      1. To Mary Johnson and her questioning of Snopes’ reportings.

        Snopes said it found no historical documentation to support the jockey claim. They further cited the Jim Crow Museum’s findings on the topic.

        Ironically, you question Snopes reporting because their cited historical background check disagrees with what you want a racist symbol to represent, but 100% believe a stupid internet article based on nothing more than a viral internet meme and a homeowner justifying her racist lawn decoration by making up fake historical rewrites. Black face statue with exaggerated features…why would ANYONE be offended by that? I’m sure she fly’s her Confederate Flag proudly above it because of the ‘history’ of proud southern tradition that it symbolizes.

  13. I see this kind of ignorance from so called journalists all the time. Typically they are young and it just proves to me that they lack a good education. I guess the colleges are too busy creating “safe spaces” rather than educating the students! I remember one instance where the journalist objected to a guest using the word niggardly. She said it was a racist word. Pure ignorance!

  14. I always have thought there was a historical meaning for that and I do recall reading something about it once before!!

  15. I am in my 50’s, and I was told the story behind these statues as a child, to encourage me NOT to be “prejudiced”, and it was nothing like her story. It was about a slave who was so worried about his “master” that he held a lantern to light the path once his master returned. He was so dedicated and dim-witted that he froze to death in this position. I heard this from family, neighbors, teachers, friends. Could be wrong, but that was what I was taught and while my dad religiously collected a wide variety or antiques, he refused to have one of these on his property. He hated them, he hated racism.

  16. this makes me want to go out and buy one and place it prominently in my yard jest to piss off all my snowflake neighbors off (the history lesson would do them good )

    1. Well, be ready for backlash. In the town where I grew up, a family actually had one of these. It was black all through my childhood and up until I was in my late forties. Under extreme pressure from the black community and some “enlightened” members of the City Council, they had to paint the statue WHITE in order to keep it! Ignorance in full bloom.

    2. Ben, don’t you think the use of ‘snowflake’ encourages racism as well? My daughter-in-law is Nicaraguan and her family refers to my son as ‘cracker’. I love her to death, but that is racism as well. As someone recently stated, there are prejudices and racism towards all races in form or another.

    3. “In Missouri in the early 1860s, a ‘snowflake’ was a person who was opposed to the abolition of slavery—the implication of the name being that such people valued white people over black people.”

  17. Never knew this and was never taught this in school. Very interesting information. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

  18. Great lesson on history. This was a simple and effective means of communications that was understood by those involved. A secret message that said so much. Thank you for the lesson, I will surely remember.

  19. I was once told by some one it represents a slave boy who frozed to death waiting for Washington to come home.

  20. Great story, but show me the documentation!

    Where was it written? And by whom? Where can we read about it in print? Is it real? Or is it just an old wive’s tale?

    Because the thing is, the whole story about the Underground Railroad Quilt Code is just as convincing, but it was totally fabricated. Not a shred of truth. Very charming story, though.

    This story has dubious similarities.

  21. Thank you for your story. I have one of these guys, he is very, very old and precious to me. Years ago while living in Va. we had a black UPS driver, he was always unfriendly and would not engage in any conversation when making delivering to my home. One afternoon we discovered our jockey had been covered with (2) clear UPS bags. At first I was upset and was going to file a complaint but decided to leave it to the drivers ignorance. For years before he left our route we never exchanged a single word when he would make a delivery. Thanks for sharing…

  22. This was a very enlightening read. As a young person in the 60’s and 70’s I wanted to go to some of those places and rescue the jockey’s. However, being taught through the Bible not to steal, I never took one. It was always on my mind to do it though. I’m now almost 70 years old and thankful to learn something new.

  23. Even if the story can’t be proven and this is what it represents to a lot of folks then good for them. It’s a good thing to have a positive spin on something that was thought to be hurtful. Positive thinking helps you see life in a better light.

  24. The tale of the usage of the statue by underground signal is evident but another tale describes the origin of the sculpture as a commemoration of heroic dedication to duty: “It is said that the ‘lawn jockey’ has its roots in the tale of one Jocko Graves, an African-American youth who served with General George Washington at the time that he crossed the Delaware to carry out his surprise attack on Hessian forces at Trenton, NJ. The General thought him too young to take along on such a dangerous attack, so left him on the Pennsylvania side to tend to the horses and to keep a light on the bank for their return. So the story goes, the boy, faithful to his post and his orders, froze to death on the river bank during the night, the lantern still in his hand. The General was so much moved by the boy’s devotion to his duty that he had a statue sculpted and cast of him, holding the lantern, and had it installed at his Mount Vernon estate. He called the sculpture ‘The Faithful Groomsman’. However, this is but one story. No proof exists of the boy.

  25. Very interesting! I always reacted negatively to these statues because I am always against racism. You can’t put this in the category of stupidity when people never heard of such intentions. This explanation should be more widely explained. Edith

  26. Ignorance gets in the way of SO MANY things. We are such an ignorant and cruel species. Cruel to other species and our own. I wish that there was a way in this whole world that we all could recognize cruelty and bring it to a end for all our planet’s species.

  27. My husband was in Massachusetts working a few years and one of his clients had one in her yard. It made a great conversation piece, especially since we live in the south, but I don’t think the client had a clue about the origin. Can’t wait to share this information with my hubby.

  28. Glad to hear this. I understood that during the time of slavery, underground railroad, there were a few white famI lies that were helping in our cause. The jockey status were placed on there lawns, to inform the slaves if they were a safe house, a place to sleep,or eat. They knew this from what the jockey was wearing, and what he may be holdind. Again thanks for the lesson.

  29. I had been taught that they were a tribute to George Washington’s slave–a boy (perhaps 10 or 12; not full-grown) who froze to death holding George Washington’s horse while he was crossing the Delaware on his raid. Wouldn’t be surprised to find that they were also used for the Underground Railroad, though.

    1. THIS STORY IS TRUE—I REMEMBER MY GREAT GRAND FATHER AN MY FATHER WORKING AS PART OF THE UNDGROUND RAIL ROAD WHEN I WAS VERY YOUNG,THEY WOULD BRING BLACK PEOPLE IN AN HID THEM IN OUR BASEMENT UNTIL DARK TIME THEN TRANSPORT THEM IN TO ST. LOUIS MO. WE LIVED INTHE OZARKS OF MO. ON THE BOARD OF THE STATE OF ARK. I FOR ONE DO KNOW THE HISTORY OF THE YARD DECORATIOIN

  30. Was told this by my great great grandma who was over a 100 yrs old when she died. She had one in her yard to help with the railroad. I know she helped a lot of people back then, this was just one way. In NC btw.

  31. I always thought they were elegant. And thought they were used as a post to tie the horses. I think I had heard JP’s version of it being an honor. I like your explanation. Thanks. Little Black Sambo was a favorite book of both my boys. He was a child like them who saved the day for his family, bringing home the food. I don’t understand how it became offensive. At the same time it was being banned, I was reading that people were unhappy they didn’t have any black comic book hero’s. Does that make sense? I guess I was lucky not to understand race problems until many years later. I learned there are good people everywhere and some of each race are bad. Always look for the good and much of the bad will pass you by.

  32. Wikipedia states this also: Some accounts of the figure’s origin, however, cause some to see the statue as representing a hero of African American history and culture. According to the River Road African American Museum the figure originated in commemoration of heroic dedication to duty: “It is said that the ‘lawn jockey’ has its roots in the tale of one Jocko Graves, an African-American youth who served with General George Washington at the time that he crossed the Delaware to carry out his surprise attack on Hessian forces at Trenton, NJ. The General thought him too young to take along on such a dangerous attack, so left him on the Pennsylvania side to tend to the horses and to keep a light on the bank for their return. So the story goes, the boy, faithful to his post and his orders, froze to death on the river bank during the night, the lantern still in his hand. The General was so much moved by the boy’s devotion to his duty that he had a statue sculpted and cast of him, holding the lantern, and had it installed at his Mount Vernon estate. He called the sculpture ‘The Faithful Groomsman’.” The most frequently cited source for the story is Kenneth W. Goings in Mammy and Uncle Mose (Indiana University Press, 1994), though he regards it as apocryphal. The story was told as well in a 32-page children’s book by Earl Kroger Sr., Jocko: A Legend of the American Revolution (1963). Moreover, there is a 13-page typescript titled “A Horse for the General: The Story of Jocko Graves” (1972), by Thomas William Halligan, in the archives of the University of Alaska Anchorage / Alaska Pacific University Consortium Library.[2]

  33. That’s the problem with history today. They aren’t teaching kids things that they should know about history. None of the things I was taught is history is taught today and that’s wrong. I think if more knew about what happen then things could/might be some what different. Who knows. One wishes

  34. And the sheep have responded…. You hear one persons take on the history and all of the sudden this racist looking statue is “A OKAY” Even if the story is true… Don’t you think it looks like a slave or low waged person eternally holding a light in you yard ?

  35. Never knew that… thanks for the info! It sure seems that these days ‘everything’ is being deemed as being ‘rascist’ in one form or another… 🙁 I sure hope that this blows over, soon.

  36. I always thought they we’re a hitching post for horses at homes in the pre-and post-Civil War period. Our town sheriff in old Lake Jackson, Texas rode a horse into the mid-fifties. It was a “southern” town if you KNOW WHUDEYE MEEN? Our schools we’re segregated until my HS days.

  37. I wouldn’t count on Snopes to verify the sun coming up in the morning. Didn’t they just get busted in a big way?

    1. Alan,
      No. Snopes was accused of bias by a tabloid called the Daily Mail, but the tabloid could not present any evidence to back their claim. Snopes sources everything, and can be quite readily checked for validity of their claims.
      Your Snopes belief shows how fake news is creeping into real news.

      As far as this story – The Jim Crow Museum has also stated this jockey story is highly unlikely.

  38. I have one of these but never knew the background of them. Mine belonged to my father (who never considered being racist) and it became mine when he passed away. It stands down at the door of my barn.

  39. I appreciate your explanation so much as many people don’t understand a lot of things about the “Underground Railroad” the south and even the confederate flag and how many different cultures worked to help people out for their freedom. But because of pure ignorance I used to get a chuckle on my way to work every morning as I pass through a neighborhood to my government job. There used to be a house on the way that had NOT a black lantern jockey but a white lantern jockey! I would always think if they only knew!

  40. I remember seeing more white jockeys with red cap, red coat and white riding pants holding a ring or lantern when I was growing up here in Indianal People are going overboard on this I think.. I have even heard there are people who want to banish the Statue of Liberty. And they certainly want all Christian statues and crosses removed from sight. Nay, Nay.
    I never thought of the black ones being racist. In fact I was not really aware of much of any racism in general when growing up. There were instances of it I know.

  41. Those uneducated that deemed them racist is why they stopped making them . I think they should start making them again. Its funny that everything is racists to black people maybe if they would stop the hate living in the past they might see the light and see History

  42. Maybe, just maybe, the two or three stories are connected. Maybe the first statue was created to symbolized this young black boy who did freeze to death while keeping his post, then once the statue was “out there” others decided that this would be a great item to use as a horse tethering station, then the next person decided because they were now such a common occurrence around town, so to speak, they became the Under ground railway tool as stated.
    Either way, it is a positive story, tale, folklore, whatever you want to call it, and just focus on the positive.

  43. I had a neighbor with two of these alongside his driveway. A group of Liberals came by with baseball bats
    and smashed them to pieces. He left them up for months to show signs of “unparralleled HATRED” we
    are seeing from the Left in recent years.

  44. When I was 4, I went to live with my Aunt and Uncle. He had the very same statue in his front yard. A couple years later as I Began to Question things, I ask why a Black Coachman, since we are White? He explained what they were about just like Ms Sandra McNair said. He Always maintained for what it meant.

  45. This story has made the rounds of families for decades, as has the way laundry was hung on the line (or laid on the fence to dry). All ALLEGEDLY had certain meanings to escaping slaves. This included hanging out (airing) certain quilts on sunny days. Single candles in the windows – up stairs means one thing, down stairs meant another.
    If you would stop ranting at each other, seeing a racist behind every bush, and just do your damn RESEARCH you might actually LEARN what the VARIOUS sources say about the issue.
    Snopes? Mainly in the business of slapping down fake news… no wonder so many rants against them.
    If this black woman wants to accept the ‘signal’ theory — good for her.
    If I get a creepy feeling when I see one of these on a lawn….it’s MY business.

  46. I knew this for many years given that my ancestors were conductors in the Underground Railroad. I have also known for many years that Snopes is about as worthless as a pork chop at a bar mitzvah. 🙂

  47. I’m in agreement with the thought that using those things to signify being part of the underground railroad would be extremely risky. All it would take is one slave giving up that information for a whole lot of people to wind up hanged or shot. I know that if it were me … I wouldn’t want to be part of a system wide signal system that would be so easy to be caught at … I’ve read that there were things like numbers or locations of candles in windows that would be just as effective and not so obvious since the candle situation would be an evening only type thing and given that the safest time for the slaves to travel would have been in the evening and those hunting them could only track them in the light of day. Bottom line, if those things were used by those participating in the Underground Railroad … those doing so either weren’t very bright or didn’t value their own life much.

  48. What’s amazing is that every time someone screeches about something being racist, they are always a Democrat, and do not even know the history of their own party- the party of Slavery, Jim Crow Segregation, the KKK, etc.. lol

    To be a Democrat is to be ignorant, uneducated / unknowledgeable about the truth, unintelligent, reactionary to things they know nothing about, intolerant, and even violent.

  49. I’ve just read Ms. McNair’s history of the “lantern man” or “jockey”. I’ve often wondered about it’s origin, and I love the reason for them. It makes so much sense, it’s a wonder more of us did not figure it out. Thank you, Ms. McNair, I hope more people read your post.

  50. You people amuse the Hell out of me!
    Because we’re talking about a black woman, you are all: “Who knew? Thank you for the education!” Kissing black behind.
    But if black Sandra McNair were a white man telling you this, I can imagine your disengenuous Liberal responses: “I can’t believe the IGNORANCE of people like you! Don’t you realize this is a symbol of HATE and OPPRESSION when it’s right here for you to see with your own two eyes?!?!”

    Just shut up.
    White “racists” like myself have been telling you this FOR YEARS and we got nothing but scorn.
    Just…
    Shut…
    Up.

  51. I call BS. It’s racist as hell. Black as midnight. BIG white eyes. Archie Bunker bought one on an episode of ALL IN THE FAMILY. Regardless of what MIGHT have been it’s origin, it’s racist trash now.

  52. I was given a different account.

    As it was explained to me, there were lots of big-money-winning black thoroughbred-race jockeys in the late 1800s/early 1900s, and the cast-iron lawn jockeys were cast to honor them.

    Many people also don’t realize that in those days there were a lot of black cowboys, both ranch-hands and rodeo-riders. The first documented case of bulldogging a steer was performed by a black cowboy named Bill Pickett …

  53. I didn’t read all the comments, but hope someone mentioned how faces on the jockeys were painted white in the 60’s where I grew up in Northern Virginia.

  54. Amazed at the idea that garden gnomes are American! English or Irish yes – they look a lot like Irish leprechauns – but not invented in America. Can’t stand ’em by the way or any other of the other tat that people ‘decorate’ gardens with. I might make room for the ‘lawn jockey’ if I lived in America as it has some kind of real history attached. But forget the rest.
    We have various gnomes and little stone animals round the communal garden where I live. I am pretty confident that no-one will ever find out that it was me who took a golf swing at one gnome with the top end of my walking stick, and knocked him under a hedge. What could I do? He looked like British politician Michael Gove – someone I really hate and I had to walk past him to get to my front door – the grin was excruciating.

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