**UPDATE: February 10, 2021—**After seven months Quaker Oats has announced its new name and logo for the maple syrup and breakfast brand previously known as Aunt Jemima. As of June 2021, the brand will be referred to as Pearl Milling Company, and it comes with a new logo, according to NPR.
Interestingly, “Aunt Jemima” still seems to appear on the packaging to give the product name recognition in the supermarket aisles. A tag reads, “New Name, Same Great Taste. Aunt Jemima”
**ORIGINAL STORY: June 17, 2020—**The Aunt Jemima brand is an American staple when it comes to breakfast food, but its logo and name, both of which are based on a racist stereotype, have faced years of criticism. There have been repeated calls for a change to the 130-year-old brand, but amid a global reckoning following the killing of George Floyd, the brand will now be retired.
Quaker Oats, the brand’s parent company and a subsidiary of PepsiCo, announced it will remove the logo and give the products a new name. The company is also donating $5 million to create “meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the Black community.”
“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype,” Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, said in a statement to NBC News. “While work has been done over the years to update the brand in a manner intended to be appropriate and respectful, we realize those changes are not enough.
“We acknowledge the brand has not progressed enough to appropriately reflect the confidence, warmth, and dignity that we would like it to stand for today,” she continued. “We are starting by removing the image and changing the name. We will continue the conversation by gathering diverse perspectives from both our organization and the Black community to further evolve the brand and make it one everyone can be proud to have in their pantry.”
According to CNN, the original Aunt Jemima branding was inspired by a minstrel show song called “Aunt Jemima’s Song.” Though the brand eventually updated the illustration of Aunt Jemima to a slightly more modern illustration of a smiling Black woman, it has still long been perceived as racist. People were quick to call this out on social media and to note that it’s taken more than 100 years for this change to occur.
This viral TikTok video from June 15 lays out the case against Aunt Jemima quite clearly.
And this thread details much of the history of the brand and the woman who became the original Aunt Jemima.
Others on Twitter couldn’t believe those who didn’t know that Aunt Jemima upheld racist stereotypes.