In a bit of breaking news this morning, Aunt Jemima is changing its name and losing its mascot of an African-American woman.
For years, it has been criticized for its roots in racism and minstrelsy.
“It’s an image that harkens back to the antebellum plantation … Aunt Jemima is that kind of stereotype is premised on this idea of Black inferiority and otherness,” Riché Richardson, an associate professor at Cornell University said,
Quaker Oats made the announcement today, saying the company recognizes that “Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype.”
“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. “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 move is the latest in companies removing logos believed to be stemmed in racism. Earlier this year, Land O’Lakes removed the drawing of a Native American woman, while Uncle Ben’s says it is planning on “evolving” the rice brand.
New packaging is set to hit the shelves later this year and that the brand’s new name will follow soon after.