Quaker has announced they are retiring the Aunt Jemima brand due to its racist origins.
Vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America said in a press release,
“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype. 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 brand has been around for over 130 years, and is based on the minstrel show song (where black face was used... yup... that bad), called "Old Aunt Jemima."
Critics have called for Quaker to get rid of the Aunt Jemima brand for years. In 2015, Riche' Richardson, an associate professor of Africana Studies and Research Center at Cornell University, wrote an opinion piece for the New York Times,
This 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.
She also talked to the staff of the Today Show (see above) in a recent interview and said,
"It's an image that hearkens back to the antebellum plantation. Aunt Jemima is that kind of stereotype that is premised on this idea of Black inferiority and otherness.