Aunt Jemima Chained To Table Snopes – Is This Ongoing Social Media Claim Well-Founded Or Not


Aunt Jemima Chained To Table Snopes – After the unjust killing of a black guy named George Floyd by the Minnesota police, not just the whole nation but the whole world has burst out regarding the value and security of the black lives which is uncertain even in the present civilized world.

A renowned food brand of United States named ‘Quaker Oats Company’, a subsidiary of ‘Pepsico’ at present, have decided to withdraw their line of pancake mix, maple syrup and other breakfast foods’ brand named ‘Aunt Jemima’, as it is based upon ‘racial stereotypes’ after this heart-wrenching incident and its aftermath. 

The social media has been flooded with the claim that Nancy Green who portrayed the character of Aunt Jemima back in the early 1900s, will be deprived of her contributions if Aunt Jemima brand is shut down.

Also a picture showing a black lady, with a big white smile holding a plate full of pancakes, is going viral in the social media. Netizens are claiming that the picture is of Nancy Green who became a millionaire by working as the official model and caricature of Aunt Jemima brand.

A cropped version of the original picture is being used where the full picture shows the black lady shackled to a tether or chain.

A gust of controversial debate has overspread the social world regarding this image. But the question is , is the photo genuine? Did the brand promote slavery and ‘Mammy’ archetype?

        St. Joseph Gazette editor Chris L. Rutt and his friend Charles G. Underwood established the Aunt Jemima Company in 1889. The Quaker Oats Company purchased it from them in 1926.

The concept of black women happily serving white rich families and taking care of their children as “happy slaves” was common in those days.

The character of Aunt Jemima is based on the same convention. While drawing the appearance of the trademark Rutt was inspired by Billy Kersand’s American style minstrelsy song “Old Aunt Jemima” showcasing black skinned slaves.

Nancy Green, an Afro-American former slave woman was chosen by R.T. Davis. She became the first Black Woman model in the advertising world.

She turned out to be a very known face throughout US and contributed notably to make the food products popular.

Even in the World’s Fair she represented the brand. 

          But after the George Floyd case, as the whole world is raising voice against racial abuse for equality, many brands like ‘Aunt Jemima’, ‘Mrs. Butterwoth’s’, ‘Uncle Bean’s Rice’, ‘Cream of Wheat’ are bringing about changes in their product featuring as they have racial stereotype history related to their product logos. Kristin Krepofl, The Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Quaker Foods has told “We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype..

 A tiktok video reminding the people of the very famous Aunt Jemima pancake mix’s abusive logo, went viral.

Though the company changed the appearance of Aunt Jemima by replacing her slave like headscarf with black curly hair and adding pearl earings, but still the rest was enough to outrage the people.

          The picture which is the center of the controversy is proved to be false. The  smiling black woman chained to a table with the caption “Aunt Jemima: I laughed because they paid me” is proved to be false.

The picture does not feature Nancy Green or any other Black woman working for the brand. It is actually a modern interpretation of the early 1900’s situation by an artist named Sally Stockhold in 2008. The person in the image is not even black skinned.

Some other rumors including Nancy Green’s becoming millionaire is also dismissed by various sources. It is just another myth linked with the Aunt Jemima persona.

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Lisa Kenney

Lisa at first sight, seems like a timid personality, and a soft-spoken lady. She embodies the spirit of the well spoken educator. A professional who has worked in the field of policy drafting for educational institutions, she is the best resource person when it comes to education policy interpretation. Her mild mannered descriptions are some of the most important pieces on the website and should be given a read!

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