Quaker Oats caused quite the stir in 2020 when it announced it would be retiring its “Aunt Jemima” brand in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Yet just one day after said announcement, a great-grandson of “Aunt Jemima” protested the decision, stating the family’s belief that the move would stand only to erase black history and suffering.
“This is an injustice for me and my family. This is part of my history,” Larnell Evans Sr., a Marine Corps veteran, said, according to Patch. He then also accused the corporation of trying to erase slavery after profiting off of it for years.“The racism they talk about, using images from slavery, that comes from the other side — white people. This company profits off images of our slavery. And their answer is to erase my great-grandmother’s history. A black female. … It hurts.”Quaker Oats confirmed the brand, whose logo features a formerly enslaved black woman named Nancy Green, would be retired for good. As per reports, Quaker described Green as a “storyteller, cook, and missionary worker,” but omitted the fact that she was born into slavery.
Originally, Green was hired to serve pancakes at the Chicago’s World’s Fair in 1893, the first time the “Aunt Jemima” brand name was used. After her death, in 1923, Anna Short Harrington – who Larnell Evans Sr. claims was his great-grandmother – stepped into the role in 1935, after a Quaker Oats representative saw her serving pancakes at the New York State Fair and decided to make her “Aunt Jemima”.