Relatives of the Actresses Behind Aunt Jemima See Rebrand as Legacy Erasure

Five different Black women have portrayed the character

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The smiling, submissive visage of Aunt Jemima, a 130-year-old pancake and syrup staple, has long been scrutinized for its controversial depiction of the plump and devoted “Black mammy” minstrel stereotype in books and academic dissertations. While Quaker Oats dropped Jemima’s head-wrap in favor of delicate pearls in 1989 (a century after the brand’s founding), the mascot’s roots in pre-Emancipation nostalgia largely remained intact.

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