Aunt Jemima’s finally got a new name – and no face.
As of this week, the popular breakfast foods brand, having been sold under its iconic “Aunt Jemima” name and logo for more than 130 years, has been relabeled the “Pearl Milling Company” in an effort to divorce itself from alleged racist ties that never actually existed.
The move comes nearly a year after PepsiCo., which owns the Quaker brand and its Aunt Jemima products, announced that it would be changing the product’s name and removing its famous logo of a black woman following accusations of racism by those who alleged the brand was profiting off of slavery.
Unfortunately for the company and the woman who became the face of its marketing campaign, the opposite, in fact, is true. The product did derive its name from “Old Aunt Jemima,” a popular working song among slaves. Nancy Green, the woman who came to embody the popular pancake and syrup products, was a former – and later freed – slave who ended up becoming a famous household icon. No longer a slave, she was paid by Quaker to travel and promote the products.
But despite the fact that the Aunt Jemima brand elevated a former slave to the position of famous icon gracing the pantries of just about every home in America, and the fact that its popular products actually celebrate the contributions of slaves to the fabric of our nation, that didn’t stop the Culture Police from targeting the company for allegedly profiting off of slavery, racism, and the degradation of black Americans.
Now, as with Uncle Ben’s rice products and the Native American woman who used to be the famous face of Land O’Lakes dairy items, it looks like Aunt Jemima will be yet another black face scrubbed from our shelves and removed from public view.
You know, for “equality."