Aunt Jemima image to be replaced with Rename
The popular breakfast brand Aunt Jemima is removing its logo and will be renamed , amid public outcry that the branding perpetuated a racist stereotype. The parents company Quaker Oats says, on Wednesday , the company recognizes that “Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype”
Vice President of Quaker Foods North America, Keistin Kroepfl said in a press release (NBC News) , “As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers”
Kroepfl said the company has worked to ‘update’ the brand to be “appropriate and respectful” but it realize the changes were insufficient.
The 130 year old brand features a black woman named Aunt Jemima, who was originally dressed as a minstrel character.
The picture has changed over time and in recent years Quaker removed the “Mammy” kerchief from the character to blunt growing criticism that the brand perpetuated a racist stereotype that dated to the days of slavery. But Quaker , a subsidiary of PepsiCo, said removing the image and name is part of an effort by the company “to make progress toward racial equality”
However, Aunt Jemima’s appearance has enveloped over time. The brand’s origin and logo is based off the song “Old Aunt Jemima” from a minstrel show performer and reportedly sung by slaves. The Company’s website said the logo started in 1890 and was based on Nancy Green , a “storyteller, cook and missionary worker”. Meanwhile, the website fails to mention Green was born into slavery.
There have been repeated calls for the company to change the logo. In 2015 opinion piece published in the New York Times, Cornell University professor Riche Richardson said the logo is “very much liked to Southern racism”
The professor said the the Aunt Jemima logo is based on a “mammy’ , a devoted and submissive servant who eagerly nurtured the children of her white master and mistress while neglecting her own” .A statue of slave Mammy stereotype was approached by Senate in 1923 , but it was never built.