Quaker Oats is retiring one of the most famous racial stereotypes in American history. 131 years after first debuting its Aunt Jemima brand and logo, the company said it will drop the maple syrup brand and acknowledged the racist origins.
“As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations,” the company said in a statement.
Aunt Jemima is based on “Old Aunt Jemima,” a song from a minstrel show performer. The original logo was created in 1890 using the likeness of a “storyteller, cook and missionary worker” named Nancy Grace. Pepsi, which owns Quaker Oats, says it will be donating five million dollars over the next five years to “create meaningful, ongoing support and engagement in the Black community.”
Pepsi didn’t say what will take the old Aunt Jemima brand’s place, but said something new will debut in the fall.