Aunt Jemima canceled forever and people say these other racist brands need to go next
Calls to get rid of a stereotypical, racist logo, Aunt Jemima, from syrup bottles and pancake mixes are finally being heard — and now Canadians want other brands to follow the breakfast brand's lead.
Quaker Oats announced it will be retiring the Aunt Jemima brand, which is produced in two Ontario plants in Trenton and Peterborough.
The company said it will remove the image of Aunt Jemima from maple syrups, pancake mixes and other products starting at the end of 2020.
“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype,” Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America told NBC News. “While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough.”
Day 14 - In homage to the end of the Aunt Jemima trademark let us not forget Nancy Green, the first Black woman hired to perform as Aunt J. When she died in 1923, The Dawn reprinted an Associated Negro Press story. Quaker Oats never acknowledged her death, they just replaced her. pic.twitter.com/btrB5XBALS— Cheryl Thompson (@DrCherylT) June 17, 2020
Riché Richardson, a Cornell University associate professor in African American literature, called for the removal of Aunt Jemima logo in a 2015 New York Times opinion piece. Aunt Jemima’s history dates back to 1889 and was inspired by the minstrel song “Old Aunt Jemima”.
Richardson said, “the logo was an outgrowth of Old South plantation nostalgia and romance grounded in an idea about the ‘mammy,’ a devoted and submissive servant who eagerly nurtured the children of her white master and mistress while neglecting her own.”
She was portrayed as a black woman wearing a headscarf perpetuating the plantation myth.
PepsiCo, which purchased Quaker Oats in 2001, made some changes removing “mammy” kerchief, Richardson was joined by the late restauranteur B. Smith, demanded that the Aunt Jemima brand be changed entirely, CNN reported.
Now Canadians are calling for changes to other products such as Uncle Ben's and Eskimo Pies.
Oh Oh! Uncle Ben (and Eskimo Pies) wake up to branding nightmare w/ news of Aunt Jemima’s proposed name change 🤢🍚🥞 #trending https://t.co/0fzl9Q7xzL— Deborah Weinstein (@debweinstein) June 17, 2020
The Cream of Wheat logo is another example.
As we kill Aunt Jemima, lest we forget this character from the @Cream_of_Wheat packaging, named "Rastus" in homage to the historically racist Uncle Remus stories. Still on the box. This is an actual ad from 1921. He's currently the profile image on the brand's Twitter page. pic.twitter.com/F6vyx5SF0d— Jennifer Rossini (@jennrossini) June 17, 2020
The decision to remove Aunt Jemima comes after a wave of anti-racism protests and as many businesses make changes. Across Canada, several towns and cities are reconsidering their racist namesakes.
Canadians are also calling for the removal of many racist statues across the country.
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