Both the image and the name Aunt Jemima are deeply offensive as representations of the many caricatures that pejoratively reflect the role of Black women as caretakers or cooks for white individuals. The “mammy” culture is pervasive in American life, often going unrecognized even by individuals who otherwise strive to be anti-racist. But in many ways, the mammy stereotype, exemplified by the Aunt Jemima logo, should be obvious. Riche Richardson, a professor of Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University, said it best in a 2015 opinion piece in The New York Times that was critical of the pancake brand:
“[The] Aunt Jemima logo was an outgrowth of Old South plantation nostalgia and romance grounded in an idea about the ‘mammy,’ a devoted and submissive servant who eagerly nurtured the children of her white master and mistress while neglecting her own. Visually, the plantation myth portrayed her as an asexual, plump black woman wearing a headscarf.”
Read the entire article in Forbes.