(WCMH) — Quaker Oats announced Wednesday it will remove the name and image of the Aunt Jemima brand of syrup and pancake mix.
The move is part of an effort by the company to “make progress toward racial equality,” the company said in a statement first obtained by NBC News.
The company said in its statement that it recognizes that “Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype.”
The brand, which spans over 120 years, features a black woman named after a character from 19th-century minstrel shows. The company’s history timeline says Aunt Jemima was first “brought to life” by Nancy Green, who was born a slave in 1834 in Kentucky. She became the face of the product in 1890.
While Green was portrayed as a “Mammy,” Aunt Jemima has since evolved, replacing her red bandanna with pearls and curls in 1989.
“We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype,” Kristin Kroepfl, vice president and chief marketing officer of Quaker Foods North America, said in a press release. “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.”
Quaker said the new packaging is due out in the fall of 2020, and a new name will be announced at a later date, NBC News reported.
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