Aunt Jemima’s name change, new name, racial stereotype: business

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The Aunt Jemima brand is changing its name and removing its logo from syrup, pancake mixes and other products.

“We recognize that 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 statement Wednesday. “While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a proper and respectful manner, we realize that these changes are not enough. “

The brand, which has been around for 130 years, “features a black woman named Aunt Jemima, who was originally dressed as a minstrel character,” NBC News first reported.

Details on the new name and packaging were not in the company’s press release.

The Quaker Oats Company, which is part of PepsiCo, also said at least $ 5 million from Aunt Jemima will be spent on “supporting and engaging in the black community” over the next five years.

Some people took to social media to share their thoughts on the decision.

“Wait, so now it’s racist to have a black wife represent a product appreciated and used by tens of millions of people? One person wrote on Twitter. “I’m so confused at this point.”

Another person wrote: “Imagine if people were upset by Aunt Jemima Abducted of Quaker Oats products were at all angry that the police were murdering black people. “

The announcement comes at a time when several companies have spoken out in favor of the black community. The comments follow the death of George Floyd, who died after a now arrested Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than 8 minutes.

This story was originally published June 17, 2020 8:22 a.m.

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Simone Jasper is a reporter covering breaking news for The News & Observer and real-time news in the Carolinas.


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