Quaker Oats has introduced that they’re going to retire the Aunt Jemima identify and emblem. The corporate acknowledged that the model emblem was based mostly on a racial stereotype. Quaker Oats hopes this motion will assist work “towards progress on racial equality.” Moreover, Uncle Ben’s Rice has introduced that they may “evolve” their model transferring ahead, although they’re uncertain of what that can imply, except for altering their emblem.
The Aunt Jemima syrup model is over 130-years outdated and its emblem contains a black girl, who was initially dressed as a minstrel character. The picture has modified numerous instances over time, however Quaker Oats is retiring it for good now, after intense criticism. Kristin Kroepfl, vice chairman and chief advertising and marketing officer of Quaker Meals North America, launched a press release which you’ll learn beneath.
“We acknowledge Aunt Jemima’s origins are based mostly on a racial stereotype. As we work to make progress towards racial equality via a number of initiatives, we additionally should take a tough have a look at our portfolio of manufacturers and guarantee they replicate our values and meet our shoppers’ expectations.”
Kristin Kroepfl additionally stated that Quaker Oats has labored to “replace” the Aunt Jemima model over time in an effort to be extra “acceptable and respectful,” however the firm got here to the conclusion that they weren’t doing sufficient. For now, it’s unclear what the model will seem like transferring ahead. Quaker Oats, which is owned by Pepsi, has seen elevated criticism over the previous few weeks, primarily as a result of tragic dying of George Floyd by the hands of Minneapolis police. Protests are nonetheless occurring each day all world wide.
Aunt Jemima is “a retrograde picture of Black womanhood on retailer cabinets,” says Riché Richardson, an affiliate professor at Cornell College. “It is a picture that harkens again to the antebellum plantation… Aunt Jemima is that type of stereotype that’s premised on this concept of black inferiority and otherness.” Even the pop nation band Girl Antebellum went ahead and adjusted their identify to Girl A after claiming they’d no concept that their identify was tied to slavery. Richardson went on and stated, “It’s pressing to expunge our public areas of quite a lot of these symbols that for some persons are triggering and symbolize terror and abuse.”
Quaker Oats says that their new Aunt Jemima packaging will roll out within the fall, with additional modifications, together with the identify, coming afterward. The corporate will even be making a donation of $5 million over the course of the subsequent 5 years, “to create significant, ongoing help and engagement within the black neighborhood.” As for Uncle Ben’s Rice, it is unclear what steps they are going to be taking within the speedy future to vary up their model, which has seen quite a lot of the identical criticism as Aunt Jemima. NBC Information was the primary to report on Aunt Jemima altering their emblem and identify.