June 24, 2020

Family of Original 'Aunt Jemima': Don't Erase History

  • Flyover Country

By: Ted Patterson

In Brief:

The family of the woman who was the model for the original Aunt Jemima is asking the maple syrup company not to change its marketing, because they’re proud of their relative’s legacy.

The Background:

As race-related protests surge nationwide, companies are scurrying to politically correct themselves, however possible, some even going so far as to change the marketing that’s been their brand for decades.

The Daily Mail reports:

The family of a woman whose image was used in Aunt Jemima branding doesn't want the products renamed because the affiliation made her a hero in her hometown.

Quaker Foods North America, acknowledged that 'Aunt Jemima's origins are based on a racial stereotype,' of a 'mammy' and announced Wednesday that it would be removing the image and name.

Texas woman Vera Harris says her second cousin Lillian Richard worked as an ambassador for the Quaker Oats brand for 23 years from 1925 and she doesn't want the progressive changes to affect her family's local fame.

"A lot of people want it removed. We want the world to know that our cousin Lillian was one of the Aunt Jemima's and she made an honest living. We would ask that you reconsider just wiping all that away. There wasn't a lot of jobs, especially for black women back in that time. She was discovered by Quaker Oats to be their brand person", Harris told KLTV.

Notable Quotes:

“She made an honest living out of it for a number of years. She toured around Texas. She was considered a hero in Hawkins, and we are proud of that. We do not want that history erased.”

  • Vera Harris, second cousin of Lillian Richard, the original Aunt Jemima

Ted Patterson is editor of Republic Press.

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