Quaker Oats Will Ditch Aunt Jemima Pancake Syrup Brand Over Racist Origins

The Aunt Jemima brand of syrup and pancake mix will get a new name and image after officials at its manufacturer, Quaker Oats, accepted that the character is “based on a racial stereotype.” Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, said previous work to “update” the brand to be “appropriate and respectful” had not worked, so it was time to drop it altogether. The 130-year-old brand features an image of a Black woman called Aunt Jemima who was originally dressed as a minstrel character, but was tweaked over the years in an effort to seem less racist. For example, Quaker Oats removed the kerchief from the character in recent years. The company said packaging would roll out later this year under a new name that has yet to be announced. The company also said it will donate at least $5 million over the next five years “to create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the Black community.”

*story by The Daily Beast