In 2020, when Quaker Oats said they would stop using the “Aunt Jemima” brand because of the Black Lives Matter movement, it caused a lot of talk.
But just one day after the announcement, a great-grandson of “Aunt Jemima” didn’t agree with the decision. He said the family believed it would erase black history and the struggles they faced.
The great-grandson, Larnell Evans Sr., who is also a Marine Corps veteran, said, “This is unfair to me and my family. It’s a part of my history. The company made money for many years, including from slavery, and now they want to get rid of it.”
“They talk about racism and use images from slavery, but the ones who did that are white people. This company makes money from images of our slavery. And their solution is to erase my great-grandmother’s history. She was a black woman. It hurts.”
Quaker Oats has decided to permanently remove the brand “Aunt Jemima,” which features an emblem of a black lady named Nancy Green, who was once enslaved. Even though Green was born into slavery, Quaker only called her a “storyteller, cook, and missionary worker,” according to sources.
The “Aunt Jemima” brand started when Green was hired to serve pancakes at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. After Anna Short Harrington was seen serving pancakes at the New York State Fair, a Quaker Oats representative decided to name her “Aunt Jemima” after she passed away in 1923. Larnell Evans Sr. claims Anna Short Harrington was his great-grandmother, and she took up the role in 1935.
Evans said, “She worked for Quaker Oats for 20 years, traveling all around the United States and Canada making pancakes as Aunt Jemima for them. This woman served all those people after slavery. That was her job. How do you think I feel as a black man telling you about my family history they’re trying to erase?”
Evans is upset that the company was able to profit from a racial stereotype before quickly moving on when it was convenient, especially since Quaker Oats plans to remove the name. He questions how many white people grew up looking at characters like Aunt Jemima every morning, and how many corporations made profits without giving anything to his community. He is troubled by the idea of erasing history and wonders what gives them the right to do so.
Well, it appears that this has generated a lot of discussion. What is your position on the issue? Please share your opinions in the comment section.
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