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CNN: The Aunt Jemima brand, acknowledging its racist past, will be retired

TeezzyD

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"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' expectations," the Pepsi-owned company said in a statement provided to CNN Business.

Aunt Jemima's appearance has evolved 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." However, the website fails to mention Green was born into slavery.
The news was first reported by NBC News.


Your move, Mrs. Butterworth
 

samporter

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Is this moment in time supposed to be a "reset" of society, when we discard the old ways and traditions to create new normals?
 

Coily

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At first it seems ridiculous but the more I think about it...I get it.

Aunt Jemima used to literally be a slave Mammy figure. They rebranded her as just a lady, but if I was black I'd probably rather they hit the reset button and start over.

I doubt the brand actually means anything to anyone so who cares
Pretty much this

Context matters.

She's a 130 year old character from minstrel shows.

Time to go characterless and just use a font
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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As an aside, one of the best ways to gaslight people and enforce public opinion is to intentionally go after frivolous things.

Why would you care about Aunt Jemima? It's just syrup. Why would you care if Spongebob is gay? He's just a cartoon character. Why would you care about that videogame sequel focusing on woke virtue signaling? It's just a videogame.

Meanwhile they elucidate the same dogmas in academia behind the scenes, simultaneously shaping culture from the top end.
Good. Is anyone really sad to see Aunt Jemima go anyways?
 

Kreios

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People want to complain, but have no idea how much this and other products helped ease tensions, and make black's more approachable to white's. Regardless of the original character design, most, if not all, of the women that portrayed aunt jamima were financially successful
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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I know what you're saying, but the aunt jemima character really does have a history that is directly racist. So in this case I wouldn't call the change frivolous, just overdue
By all means, tear it down. Syrup branding and children's cartoons isn't how my ideology conveys its message, but these virtue signalers are sending a different kind of message loud and clear.
 

NOLA_Gaffer

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What exactly was racist about uncle ben and aunt jemima?
Aunt Jemima:
Aunt Jemima is based on the common stereotype of the mammy archetype, a character in minstrel shows in the late 1800s. Her skin is dark and dewy, with a pearly white smile. She wears a scarf over her head and a polka dot dress with a white collar, similar to the common attire and physical features of "mammy" characters throughout history. A character named "Aunt Jemima" appeared on the stage in Washington, D.C., as early as 1864.

The inspiration for Aunt Jemima was Billy Kersands' American-style minstrelsy/vaudeville song "Old Aunt Jemima", written in 1875. Rutt reportedly saw a minstrel show featuring the "Old Aunt Jemima" song in the fall of 1889, presented by blackface performers identified by Arthur F. Marquette as "Baker & Farrell". Marquette recounts that the actor playing Aunt Jemima wore an apron and kerchief, and Rutt appropriated this Aunt Jemima character to market the Pearl Milling Company pancake mix in late 1889.

However, Doris Witt was unable to confirm Marquette's account. Witt suggests that Rutt might have witnessed a performance by the vaudeville performer Pete F. Baker, who played a character described in newspapers of that era as "Aunt Jemima". If this is correct, the original inspiration for the Aunt Jemima character was a white male in blackface, whom some have described as a German immigrant.


Uncle Ben:
Since 1946, Uncle Ben's products have carried the image of an elderly African-American man dressed in a bow tie, said to have been a Chicago maître d'hôtel named Frank Brown. According to Mars, Uncle Ben was an African-American rice grower known for the quality of his rice. Gordon L. Harwell, an entrepreneur who had supplied rice to the armed forces in World War II, chose the name Uncle Ben's as a means to expand his marketing efforts to the general public. "Uncle" was a common appellation used in the Southern United States to refer to older male black slaves or servants. However, the imagery evokes a servant and uses a title that reflects how white Southerners "once used 'uncle' and 'aunt' as forms of address for older blacks because they refused to say 'Mr.' and 'Mrs.'"

 

NOLA_Gaffer

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Remember these from the past now they are called chocolate sticks or what ever.
I miss rhe old days


Fucking yikes.

Pretty much this

Context matters.

She's a 130 year old character from minstrel shows.

Time to go characterless and just use a font
In an ideal situation Quaker Oats could work out a partnership with someone like Tabitha Brown or Nadiya Hussain and keep a black woman on the bottle, but they both lean into the "healthy food" side of things and I would imagine neither are willing to sell out to that degree--not that I'd blame 'em.
 
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DunDunDunpachi

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Aunt Jemima:
Aunt Jemima is based on the common stereotype of the mammy archetype, a character in minstrel shows in the late 1800s. Her skin is dark and dewy, with a pearly white smile. She wears a scarf over her head and a polka dot dress with a white collar, similar to the common attire and physical features of "mammy" characters throughout history. A character named "Aunt Jemima" appeared on the stage in Washington, D.C., as early as 1864.

The inspiration for Aunt Jemima was Billy Kersands' American-style minstrelsy/vaudeville song "Old Aunt Jemima", written in 1875. Rutt reportedly saw a minstrel show featuring the "Old Aunt Jemima" song in the fall of 1889, presented by blackface performers identified by Arthur F. Marquette as "Baker & Farrell". Marquette recounts that the actor playing Aunt Jemima wore an apron and kerchief, and Rutt appropriated this Aunt Jemima character to market the Pearl Milling Company pancake mix in late 1889.

However, Doris Witt was unable to confirm Marquette's account. Witt suggests that Rutt might have witnessed a performance by the vaudeville performer Pete F. Baker, who played a character described in newspapers of that era as "Aunt Jemima". If this is correct, the original inspiration for the Aunt Jemima character was a white male in blackface, whom some have described as a German immigrant.


Uncle Ben:
Since 1946, Uncle Ben's products have carried the image of an elderly African-American man dressed in a bow tie, said to have been a Chicago maître d'hôtel named Frank Brown. According to Mars, Uncle Ben was an African-American rice grower known for the quality of his rice. Gordon L. Harwell, an entrepreneur who had supplied rice to the armed forces in World War II, chose the name Uncle Ben's as a means to expand his marketing efforts to the general public. "Uncle" was a common appellation used in the Southern United States to refer to older male black slaves or servants. However, the imagery evokes a servant and uses a title that reflects how white Southerners "once used 'uncle' and 'aunt' as forms of address for older blacks because they refused to say 'Mr.' and 'Mrs.'"

The edit history on those two Wikipedia pages from the past 3 days is even more fascinating than the pages themselves.

 

Happosai

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Well...one seems a lighter brown to me (I'm talking Maple Syrup). They'll have to stop making transparent bottles for the syrup...Syrups colour is racist. If they used a white plastic -- every syrup would be banned for white privilege.


 

NOLA_Gaffer

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Well...one seems a lighter brown to me (I'm talking Maple Syrup). They'll have to stop making transparent bottles for the syrup...Syrups colour is racist. If they used a white plastic -- every syrup would be banned for white privilege.


 
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