Mars drops Uncle Ben’s, reveals new name for rice brand

September 23, 2020

...Quaker Oats announced in June that it would drop Aunt Jemima from syrup and pancake packages, responding to criticism that the character’s origins were based the “mammy,” a black woman content to serve her white masters. Quaker said packages without Aunt Jemima will start to appear in stores by the end of the year, although the company has not revealed the new logo.

“It’s a chain reaction of sorts and it’s really good and interesting to see so much introspection being done in these companies to change the trademarks that they’ve invested in,” said Riché Richardson, an associate professor of African American literature at Cornell University, who called for Aunt Jemima’s retirement five years ago in a New York Times opinion piece. “There is a challenge for some people in letting go of these images because they wrongly link them with a sense of Black identity and empowerment when in reality these images have never empowered Black people.”

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Professor Riché Richardson