US company “cancels” first black product spokesperson

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Nancy Green is a name you’ve probably never heard but should have. Nancy Green (1834-1923) was American’s first product spokesperson. In fact, she was the world’s first living advertising trademark. And she was black.

Born a slave in Kentucky, Green was a servant, nanny, housekeeper, and cook for the family of Charles Morehead Walker. She also served the Walker family’s next generation in Chicago.

In 1893, Green was hired by the R.T. Davis Milling Company in St. Joseph, Missouri. She was 59 years old. On the recommendation of Judge Walker, Green was chosen to represent the advertising character “Aunt Jemima.” The Davis Milling Company was renamed Aunt Jemima in 1914.

Nancy Green was the basis for the image of Aunt Jemima. During a span of almost 20 years, Green made thousands of personal appearances across the country at fails, festivals, flea markets, food shows, and grocery stores.

When Nancy refused to cross the ocean for the 1900 Paris Exposition she was replaced by Agnes Moody. At least nine other black women portrayed Aunt Jemima in personal appearances.

Green went on to use her fame as a spokesperson to advocate against poverty. In addition, she lobbied in favor of equal rights.

Nancy died at age 89 in a tragic accident. She was hit by a car that was pushed onto the sidewalk where she was standing after it was struck by a truck.

A CASUALITY OF EQUALITY

In 1926, Aunt Jemima was purchased by Quaker Oats, now a subsidiary of PepsiCo. Following the death of George Floyd, Quaker Oats announced the Aunt Jemima brand would be retired “to make progress toward racial equality.”

PepsiCo announced on February 9, 2021, that their Aunt Jemima products would be rebranded as Pearl Milling Company starting in June. The Pearl Milling Company, founded in 1888, created the self-rising pancake mix that became Aunt Jemima. The company will retain the traditional red and yellow packaging.

The decision to rename the brand during Black History Month cannot be a coincidence.

Not without controversy, the new name has lit up social media. Most of the comments center around two basic issues. Some people don’t like the unappetizing-sounding name. Others are upset that their favorite brand is disappearing because of social pressure.

Quaker Oats has also “pledged a $5 million commitment to support the Black community.” In its February 9th press release, they announced the details of “a $1 million commitment to empower and uplift Black girls and women.” This is in addition to a $400 million, five-year “investment to uplift Black businesses and communities, and increase Black representation at PepsiCo.”

That’s quite an apology. In the flurry of press releases, news reports, and social media posts, Nancy Green’s name has been lost in the din.

American’s first product spokesperson, who was black, has officially been cancelled.


Image from: nypost.com

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3 COMMENTS

  1. The best meme of last summer showed Ralphie from the Simpsons holding an Aunt Jemima syrup bottle with the caption…liberals learning how to get over a breakfast topping label.
    Only a fat sick society of overabundance on the verge of collapse would worry about things like a product label and whether it is “woke” enough.
    Holding people and products from long ago to contemporary “standards” is mental illness.
    Is the porridge guy still around on Cream Of Wheat? That is probably long gone.
    No way! He is still on there but the page is out of UK as it says original Amerian porridge for £6 plus shipping.
    Poopsi? No thanks and the workers at the processing facility for that crap wear hazmat suits.
    I’ll have the occasional Rockstar but usually go with coffee, seltzer or good ol’ H2O water.

    Fun trivia-In the city battle scene of Full Metal Jacket there is a Darkie (actual name) toothpaste ad on the side of a war torn building.
    It is sold only in Asia and was renamed Darlie in 1989 with a different label.

  2. Why am I not surprised that Liberals are Canceling Black culture. Aunt Jemima is an American icon that Blacks used to be proud of. Why do America’s Blacks stand by and watch the privileged children of rich White Americans cancel their culture? In Mississippi they took the “Confederate Flag” off of the State Flag. An elderly Black neighbor down the rode from my ranch lamented that the White Majority are erasing Black history;” that Flag reminds us of our past and soon people will start to forget our journey to freedom”. He went on to say that wished White People would stop trying help Blacks and just leave them alone. There’s a lot of logic in that man’s thinking.

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