The Aunt Jemima brand of pancake mix and syrup, known for the image of an older black woman on its packaging, has been cancelled (discontinued) by PepsiCo. This is a result of outrage in the summer of 2020 over the “stereotypical” look of Aunt Jemima. The brand will now be known as “Pearl Milling Company” after the original company that created the first self-rising pancake mix that later became Aunt Jemima’s. Although the name “Aunt Jemima” will no longer represent the brand, the colors and design of the packaging will remain the same.
Aunt Jemima has had several redesigns since 1889 when it first debuted, over 130 years ago. The original purpose was to have the stereotypical “mammy” image portrayed on the product. A black woman by the name of Nancy Green was named the first corporate model for “Aunt Jemima” and she was given a lifetime contract, of which she served over 20 years. Several other black women were cast as the corporate model of Aunt Jemima over the years before that practice was ultimately ended.
Every few years there would be controversy surrounding the origin and depiction of Aunt Jemima, usually right around the time when there would be one of the aforementioned redesigns. Although the most recent image of Aunt Jemima is perfectly fine by many save for a few outrage artists on Twitter, the origin of the name was still a point of contention for a few more people. “Aunt” or “Auntie” is what black female servants were referred to in white households (black households as well but that doesn’t quite fit the woke narrative.) The name “Jemima” originally came from a minstrel song written by a black man named Billy Kersands.
Rather than continuously deal with problems from the outrage mobs over the “Aunt Jemima” brand, PepsiCo decided to officially end the brand altogether. The same fate may await “Uncle Ben’s Rice”. The company behind Uncle Ben’s has already signalled that their name will change to Ben’s Original. The famous picture of an older black man in a bowtie on the Uncle Ben’s box may have to go. Same thing with “Cream of Wheat” and so on. In a world where “inclusion” and “diversity” are so championed, iconic black imagery seems to be first on the chopping block of “offensive” things to remove. What a backwards world.
Aunt Jemima breakfast brand renamed Pearl Milling Company
Family of woman who portrayed Aunt Jemima opposes move to rebrand
Cream of Wheat to Drop Black Chef From Packaging, Company Says – The New York Times