Friday, July 17, 2020

Aunt Jemima challenged in 1943

Recently, Quaker Oats announced that the Aunt Jemima brand would be taken off the market, and as usual, there were claims that an image and name that had not been seen as offensive in the past were suddenly being treated as racist. But in 1943, as Gretchen Sorin writes in "Driving While Black", David J. Sullivan, an African-American market researcher, advised white businessmen and advertisers aiming at African-Americans to avoid blackface, racial slurs, images "exaggerating Negro features", and such stereotypes as Uncle Mose and Aunt Jemima. That is, the Aunt Jemima brand, the associated "mammy" image, and racist brand names and logos have long been seen as offensive by African Americans. (Andrew Shields, #111words, 17 July)

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