Aunt Jemima Is Changing Its Name And Logo, Noting Its 'Origins Are Based On A Racial Stereotype'
Photo credit: Roberto Machado Noa - Getty Images
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Quaker Oats announced this week that it would change the name and logo of its aunt Jemima brand, saying its "origins are based on a racist stereotype," NBC News said.
"We recognize that Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racist stereotype," said Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, in a press release received from the store: "As we work through it various initiatives to make progress towards racial equality. " We also need to take a close look at our brand portfolio and ensure that they reflect our values and meet our consumers' expectations. "
Customers can expect new packaging for all products - including syrup and pancake mixes - to hit the shelves by fall 2020, but the brand didn't immediately announce a new name. Quaker will donate at least $ 5 million over the next five years "to create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the black community."
The criticism of the brand name and logo is not new. The brand's timeline stated that it was originally "brought to life" by Nancy Green, who she now calls "storyteller, cook, and mission worker," but NBC News reported that she was also a formerly enslaved person. When the logo was first created, Aunt Jemima was dressed in the style of a "mommy", a racist cartoon that often appeared in minstrel shows. The logo has been updated over the years, as Kroepfl noted in the publication. In 1989, the brand removed the headscarf around her head in favor of a pearl earring.
Riché Richardson, associate professor at Cornell University's Africana Studies and Research Center and artist, called for the logo to be removed in one piece for the New York Times in 2015. She also said that the brand name was also derived from a minstrel song Old Aunt Jemima.
"This aunt Jemima logo was a result of the nostalgia and romance of the plantations in the old south, based on an idea about the 'mother', a devoted and submissive servant who eagerly cared for the children of her white master and her lover while she was her own neglected. Visually the plantation The Myth portrayed her as an asexual, plump black woman with a headscarf, "she wrote.
"It is time to have honest discussions about what the future marketing of products under names like 'Aunt Jemima' is all about," she concluded. She also released a similar call to the TODAY Show this week.
"There is an urgent need to clear the public space of many of these symbols that trigger and represent terrorism and abuse for some people," she said.
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