When Quaker Oats announced that their “Aunt Jemima” brand would be discontinued in light of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, it created quite a commotion.
However, a great-grandson of “Aunt Jemima” objected to the choice just one day after it was made public, stating that the family thought it would only serve to erase black history and suffering.
“This is an injustice for me and my family. Marine Corps veteran Larnell Evans Sr. stated, “this is a part of my history. After making money from slavery for many years, the business was then accused of attempting to end it.
“The racism they talk about, using images from slavery, that comes from the other side — white people. This company profits off images of our slavery. And their answer is to erase my great-grandmother’s history. A black female. … It hurts.”
The brand, whose emblem shows a black lady who was once an enslaved named Nancy Green, will be permanently withdrawn, according to Quaker Oats. Green was born into slavery, but Quaker only called her a “storyteller, cook, and missionary worker,” according to sources.
The “Aunt Jemima” brand name was first used when Green was contracted to serve pancakes at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893. A Quaker Oats representative witnessed Anna Short Harrington serving pancakes at the New York State Fair and decided to make her “Aunt Jemima” after her passing in 1923. Larnell Evans Sr. claims Anna Short Harrington was his great-grandmother. She took up the role in 1935.
Evans said: “She worked for that Quaker Oats for 20 years. She traveled all the way around the United States and Canada making pancakes as Aunt Jemima for them.
“This woman served all those people, and it was after slavery. She worked as Aunt Jemima. That was her job. … How do you think I feel as a black man sitting here telling you about my family history they’re trying to erase?”