Aunt Jemima’s brand, acknowledging her racist past, will be retired

“As we work to advance toward racial equality through several initiatives, we must also look closely at our brand portfolio and ensure that they reflect our values ​​and meet the expectations of our consumers,” a statement from a Pepsi-owned company to CNN Business said.

Aunt Jemima’s appearance evolved over time. The origin and logo of the brand is based on the song “Old Aunt Jemima” by the performer of the show “Minstrel”, and it is allegedly sung by slaves. The company’s website says the logo began in 1890 and is based on Nancy Green, a “storyteller, cook and missionary”. However, the site does not mention Green was born into slavery.
There have been repeated calls for the company to change the logo. In 2015 part of the opinion published in the New York Times, Cornell University professor Riché Richardson said the logo was “largely associated with southern racism.”

Richardson said Aunt Jemima’s logo is based on a “mother,” a loyal and submissive maid who passionately nurtured the children of her white master and mistress while neglecting her own. “The statue of the slave mother stereotype was approved by the U.S. Senate in 1923, but was never built.

The company has also been running racist ads for decades, and the actresses personify their mother’s stereotype. Over the years, he developed the logo and even hired singer Gladys Knight as a spokeswoman for the 1990s. Today, Aunt Jemima is described as a brand that stands for “warmth, care and trust – qualities you will find in loving moms of different backgrounds who want the best for their family.”

The husband of the late B. Smith in 2017 called on the company to change it and said it was an epithet of “female humiliation”.

“While we have been working to update the brand over the years in a way that is intended to be appropriate and respected, we understand that these changes are not enough,” Quaker Oats North America Chief Marketing Officer Kristin Kroepfl said in a statement.

Following the general recognition of the race after George Floyd’s death in police custody, companies are making changes.
Pepsi (ZEST) has not yet discovered a new logo or brand for breakfast items. It will debut in the fall. Aunt Jemima’s brand was bought by Quaker Oats in 1926. PepsiCo bought Quaker Oats in 2001.

Brand Aunt Jemima will donate five million dollars over the next five years to “create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the black community”. Earlier this week, Pepsi announced a $ 400 million initiative to support the black community.

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