Old Aunt Jemima (Black History 365)

We’ve all seen, used, and have tasted the joy of creating pancakes from an Aunt Jemima pancake mix or using the maple syrup, but as with other products that depicted black figures for consumer sale it has some unsettling history behind it. The Aunt Jemima that we see on grocery store shelves is a modern redesign of its former image which was based on a real black woman with a bandana on and was full-figured. Her creation was based on a real woman and her fictionalized name to sell food products was created by two colonizers after watching a white woman in blackface singing a song during a minstrel performance titled “Old Aunt Jemima. Nancy Green the woman whose image was originally used for the product line of Aunt Jemima was a former slave and she represented one of many depictions of black figures on products i.e. Cream of Wheat, Uncle Ben as a jovial black person for white America to feel comfortable towards. Equally important you’ve probably heard the term ” a barrel of laughs” right? If so the origin of that phrase came from a time when slaves with boisterous personalities had to control themselves when they had the urge to laugh and when they had to they would have to laugh into a barrel. White folks perceived laughing from a slave as a sign of disrespect so they posted barrels around the fields for them express elation. Fast forward to the minstrels shows where mentioned: “barrel of laughs” and other degrading depictions of black folks made it a reoccurring form of entertainment for white folks who couldn’t hold back the “fun” of showing how their once property acted daily. Leave a comment if you feel the need and a like. Also follow my page for future posts. As always peace and keep it real.

Nancy Green as Aunt Jemima

Image result for aunt jemima

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