It looks like one popular pancake mix and syrup brand is finally on its way to extinction.
According to NBC News, on Wednesday (June 17), Quaker Oats, the company that makes Aunt Jemima, announced that after 131 years, they are rebranding the line by giving it a brand new name and image.
“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype,” Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, said in a press release.
“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.”
As NBC pointed out, Kroepfl admitted that while over the years Quaker Oats worked to “update” the brand to be more “appropriate and respectful—by changing the slave imagery to a more modern Black granny—they realized those efforts just weren’t enough.
In case you need a quick history lesson, the Aunt Jemima brand debuted in 1889 and was based on the racist caricature of the Mammy—a Black woman usually portrayed as a dark-skinned “obese, coarse, maternal figure” who had a “great love for her white ‘family,’” says the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia in Big Rapids, Michigan.
In the wake of recent Black Lives Matter protests sparked by the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and countless others, Aunt Jemima and Uncle Bens join the ranks of many other brands that have come under fire for racist imagery, brand names, messaging, and/or lack of representation.
A slew of Black content creators on TikTok and Twitter called out the company for its long-going use of racist imagery. Content creator @SingKirbysing called out in a TikTok video.
Aunt Jemima isn’t the only brand making a change. Mars Inc, the company behind Uncle Ben’s, also announced on Wednesday (June 17) that they are rebranding as well, according to Reuters.
“As a global brand, we know we have a responsibility to take a stand in helping to put an end to racial bias and injustices,” a spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.
“We recognize that one way we can do this is by evolving the Uncle Ben’s brand, including its visual brand identity.”
They noted that they will be making changes to the brand but did not announce a date to make those changes.
“We don’t yet know what the exact changes or timing will be, but we are evaluating all possibilities.”
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Aunt Jemima No More! Company to Rebrand Items Rooted in Racial Stereotypes was originally published on hellobeautiful.com