lawn jockey


Also found in: Wikipedia.

lawn jockey

1. A small statue of man, usually dressed like a jockey, bearing a metal ring in one outstretched hand, originally intended as a hitching post and now typically placed on a front lawn. One version particularly popular in the southern United States (sometimes called a "jocko") features the exaggerated stereotypical features of a black man. Though its origin is debated, it is often considered offensive. It is still not uncommon to see lawn jockeys in front of houses if you travel down south, even though no one uses them to tie up their horses anymore.
2. highly offensive Used by extension as a derogatory slang term for a black man. I could hear the group call me a lawn jockey as I passed by, but I just kept walking.
See also: jockey, lawn

lawn jockey

A derogatory term for an African-American. A traditional feature of a Southern front yard was a statue of a diminutive black man painted in the colors of horseracing silks. His hand was outstretched, as if to hitch a horse's reins (the hand often ended in a ring for just that purpose). As an expression connoting subservience in the sense of “slave” or “mascot,” “lawn jockey” deserved to be consigned to the linguistic scrap heap.
See also: jockey, lawn
References in periodicals archive ?
A little alien to me was the human figure, but inspiration from a trip to the 21 Club in New York led me down the path of creating the modern-day lawn jockey.'' She specialises in creating personalised jockey figures for the racing enthusiast and they are all painted to their owners' specification, with a lacquered brass plaque bearing their details.
These include but are not limited to: laundry chutes, lawn jockey statues, and monogrammed door knobs.
Seen this way, Nelson's enigmatic response to the African American woman prefigures the two central events that follow in the story, both of which epitomize othering: Head's denial of his grandson and the climactic ending of the story, Head and Nelson's encounter with the eponymous lawn jockey, a white-constructed figuration of the other, which Head and Nelson stare at as if at "the mystery of existence" (269).
In a passage strangely reminiscent of Darius James's Negrophobia, McIntyre falls asleep and finds himself stymied by a talking lawn jockey; the jive-talking iron man is evidently symbolic of an increasingly intolerable racial burden: You might even say that I'm a rough case, but what I tell you about yourself is nonetheless true.
This cartoon might seem innocuous until you realize what adorns the White House lawn is a Republican lawn jockey. "My editor thought it was a bit too 'racial' for right after Obama's election," says Summers.
There is a truck on cinder-blocks with its rusted hood propped open by a baseball bat, a child with bad teeth bouncing a tennis ball against the side of a shed, an old man with one eye sitting in a beach chair and talking to a lawn jockey. You look away then because you remember that the man probably thinks the lawn jockey will talk back.
That's why he married a white woman." He was called an Uncle Tom and an "angry Oreo," was pictured in a KKK hood as an "Ethnic Cleanser" in the Oakland Tribune, and was called "a lawn jockey for the ruling class" by a prominent, white male supporter of affirmative action.
It tells what it's like for a black family to move in where the only thing of color is the lawn jockey. This is the road The Jeffersons went down.
Pritzker, the Democratic candidate for governor, sitting atop a black lawn jockey and blowing black smoke while an FBI agent listens in on his phone conversation.
Wright's motto is "Anything Less Than Ownership is Unacceptable." But the landlocked Highland Community is bordered by an abandoned railroad switch yard to its south, a rail spur running up to Lafayette Avenue on its western side that includes the east side of McKoon Avenue in DeVeaux, and Hyde Park Boulevard forming its eastern border and separating it from the Town of Niagara's Beldon Center, where a few black lawn jockeys and some rebel flags are boldly displayed.
* July 12: Ken Dix and the Friday Night Lawn Jockeys (classic rock to current hits)
Unless, of course, homeowners do the right thing and rip up the grass and cart away the lawn jockeys. That is what they should do.
Real-world and quasi-mythological figures continue to intermingle, eventually encompassing two lawn jockeys who come to life (Gardner, Eric Fraisher Hayes); an Uncle Tom-like old man (Callender) crying "Save me, Joe Louis!"; and two amusingly quarrelsome TV sports commentators (Gardner, Hayes).
But I've also seen them strolling among pedestrians in shopping malls, roosting on the outstretched arms of lawn jockeys and standing on window ledges at McDonald's drive-thrus, staring right at startled customers.
Future performances include: Suburban Cowboys (country), June 21; Ken Dix and the Friday Night Lawn Jockeys (classic rock to current hits), July 12; Zydeco Voodoo (traditional New Orleans music and popular rock and blues), Aug.