Aunt Jemima brand to change name and image over ‘racial stereotype’

By Tiffany HSU

Aunt Jemima, the popular syrup and pancake-mix brand that marketed itself with imagery of the slaveryera South, will get a new name and image after Quaker Oats, its parent company, acknowledged that its origins were “based on a racial stereotype.”

On Wednesday, the company, owned by PepsiCo, said it was taking “a hard look at our portfolio of brands” as it worked “to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives.” Packaging changes, first reported by NBC News, will appear toward the end of the year, with the name change coming soon after.

The Aunt Jemima brand, founded in 1889, was built on images of a black female character that promoted a false and nostalgic view of slavery in the United States. A former slave portrayed the character at the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago, and a white actress known for performing in blackface played Aunt Jemima on a radio series in the 1930s.

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