Matt D
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Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:11 am

Several years ago, the logo for Aunt Jemima pancake mix and syrup was changed from the classic, classy "Mammy" look to just some anonymous image of a Black woman.

Why?

Why not keep the classic?

speaking of which...how about that Uncle Ben and the Cream Of wheat guy?











 
174thfwff
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:17 am

It's easy Matt. I feel the answer is political correctness. Why offend some of your customers if you don't have to? I mean in the end, it's just a package that goes in the trash at the end of the week so I do not see what the big deal is...but again I'm a white male so maybe that's why.
-174th
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DeltaGuy
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:31 am

It changed when Uncle Ben knocked her up  Laugh out loud

Naw, but seriously...as a white male too, I don't care what she looks like, but the NAACP and others always have to have some sort of say. If you don't like the picture on a damn product, don't buy it.

DeltaGuy
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dl021
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 12:03 pm

It was, according to the company, for reasons of modernizing as well as racial sensitivity. The idea of the black mammy that recalled "Gone With the Wind" was offensive to some, and these folks are in the business of selling to the masses. If you offend some with a particular stereotype, while the rest of the buying public are not changing their brand loyalty when you modernize the image you are making a business decision.

The syrup tastes the same, and if the image was offensive to people to the point it wouldhave a negative impact on sales then changing it was a good decision.
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garnetpalmetto
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 12:32 pm

Do you even need to ask or are you just trying to stir crap up, Matt? Look no further than the placard the Cream of Wheat guy is holding for your answer. Aunt Jemima and Rastus in their original forms bear the stereotype of blacks as uneducated societal rejects suitable for work as domestic servants and little else. Never had a problem with Uncle Ben, mind you, but the whole Little Black Sambo image that Jemima and Rastus had were one that needed to be updated. Just as Betty Crocker changed with the times, so too with these two characters. Like DL021 points out, the makers of those products are selling to the masses. Maybe at one point, nobody would blink at Rastus's sign and maybe some people would even get a chuckle out of it. But times change and what was once given a pass is deemed socially unacceptable and as society's mores change, your product packaging changes too. Simple as that.
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SFOMEX
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 5:01 pm

MattD:

Christmas was two days ago. I'm sure you are a God fearing, good ol' boy who is sensitive to the spirit of the Holidays. Could you bring this racial crap next year? I'm sure you will understand.
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Superfly
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 8:48 pm

Oh come on Matt D. I know you're a lot smarter than this.  Smile
It's not like you live in one of those backwards 'red states'.  Big grin
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aloges
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 9:13 pm

They could have kept the Aunt Jemima face and put her in a less "maid-ish" outfit, though. After all, I'd consider the stereotype of the friendly, big, black, tranquil greatest mother/aunt on earth not an unfriendly one. If you think that's racist - who said said woman was stupid or anything? I didn't.
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LHMark
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Mon Dec 27, 2004 10:21 pm

For the same reason the "Brawny" logo changed.



Target consumers' changing tastes made the old brand obsolete.

Anyway, since we're talking about Aunt Jemima,

"Sympathy is something that shouldn't be bestowed on the Yankees. Apparently it angers them." - Bob Feller
 
Tom in NO
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Tue Dec 28, 2004 3:15 am

...but the whole Little Black Sambo image...
That comment reminded me of the days of the Sambo's Restaurant chain. There used to be over 200, now just the original one is left in Santa Barbara, CA.

They're trying to revive the name, but it's encountering some opposition.
http://www.cnn.com/US/9801/28/sambo.revival

Any one else besides me remember Sambo's? I do remember the food was good.

Tom at MSY

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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Tue Dec 28, 2004 3:19 am

I remember that restaurant - and yes, the food was excellent!
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MD11Engineer
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Tue Dec 28, 2004 3:36 am

My African Ex wife used to wear a headtie like this while coking and sleeping (different ones, of course), the one for cooking to prevent food smells enterintg her hair, and the one at night time to keep her hairdo (lots of little braids) in order.

Jan
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SlamClick
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Tue Dec 28, 2004 3:38 am

Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't "Sambo" from India? The story involved tigers and they do not have tigers in Africa.

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vaporlock
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Tue Dec 28, 2004 3:45 am

SlamClick, I have the book you are referring to "Little Black Sambo".....it was banned quite a few years ago.....and yes you are correct.....the story involved tigers and they do not have tigers in Africa!!!  Big thumbs up

Phyllis  Wink/being sarcastic
 
BN747
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Tue Dec 28, 2004 7:23 am

No one really addresses the history behind this... well Garnet does top an extent.

When these 'labels' 1st appeared, they were conjured up at a time when blacks and all minorities were fair game for ridicule in the media or any commercial environment! Several racist Bugs Bunny cartoons from the 40s are still around-- the portrayed blacks as ignorant,illiterate slackers and clowns. Minorities could protest... but it would fall on deaf-ears and go nowhere! So they had just take it. The makers of these products pretty much targeted whites only for years and years... marketing to different demographics didn't kick in until the late 1960s-70s. How long many whites would put up with products such as:

Uncle Jim Crows Cajun Rice - featuring some beat-down resident of a trailerpark

Aunt Crackers' biscuits - Another beat down toothless granny

Whitey's Baked Beans - a fat guy with a mouth full of 'chew' tabacco and traces dripping from the corner of his mouth.

Sambos was about as racist an organization one could find! How about some fine dining at 'Lil Klans' dinner?

Whites wouldn't tolerate a black-owned company advertising this nonsense for a second.

It's a shame that Matt's playing dumb about all this... he really has WAY too much time on his hands....

BN747
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dl021
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Tue Dec 28, 2004 8:29 am

IF you find DL021 and BN747 on the same side of an issue, then their is serious consensus on this. I think that Matt may be just getting folks thinking here, and not really asking a serious question. Unless he is simply unaware of the racial overtones I mentioned earlier.

Little Black Sambo, who ate pancakes like there was no tomorrow, was about a little Indian (Asian) boy who was stereotyped differently here than in Great Britain. Most here assumed that Sambo was of African descent and took serious umbrage, similar to the D.C. Mayoral assistant who used the word "niggardly" in proper context and was assailed by people who missed the "d" in the word and did not know what it meant. It was bad judgement to use this word in todays society that reads pretty much at a 6th grade level, but it illustrates just how some words and characters become unusable in their original context due to changing sensitivities, perceptions and meanings (see the words 'gay' or 'fag' in a current dictionary and then go look in the Oxford Dictionary for the current and archaic meanings for further illustration).
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EMBQA
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Tue Dec 28, 2004 8:37 am

It was changed to give a more modern look. They did the same with Betty Crocker and the Gerber Baby few years back.

"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
 
garnetpalmetto
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Tue Dec 28, 2004 8:55 am

DL - The assumption that Sambo was of African descent comes threefold. First, the original illustrations had Sambo as black with kinky hair. Certainly darker than any Indian I've seen, despite the setting of the story...



Secondly, the first lines of the story are "Once upon a time there was a little black boy...."

And lastly, the word Sambo itself is a play off the Foulah word for "uncle," which was often used as a pejorative for old black men.

At any rate, that's neither here nor there in regards to Matt's original post. I'll amend my statement then to state that Rastus and Jemima were blackface-esque depictions of blacks in house-slave roles. Look for instance at some 1920s ad copy for Aunt Jemima batter:

"On the old plantation, Aunt Jemima refused to reveal to a soul the secret of those light fragrant pancakes which she baked for her master and his guests. Only once, long after her master's death did Aunt Jemima reveal her recipe. It's still a secret."

Or some Aunt Jemima promotional materials from the 40s.




[Edited 2004-12-28 00:56:27]
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theCoz
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:04 am

Matt, I did my grocery shopping last night and I was walking past the maple syrups and decided to take a look.

The logo of the lady on the front looked like June Cleaver but she was black. It kind of gave me a shock considering it looks so different from the original.

Why the hell do they have to make a person look white with black skin? It's screwed up if you ask me.
 
dl021
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RE: Why Was The Aunt Jemima Pancake Logo Changed?

Tue Dec 28, 2004 9:24 am

GP.....You are correct and that is some good quick research, unless you are a weirder collector than I am.  Big grin

There are differing skin tones on the Eurasians and Aryans inhabiting the Asian subcontinent, and I don't pretend to be a cultural anthropologist (although I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night) I do know that some British referred to some Asians from India as black up to very recent times (perhaps even to this day). They were never referring to Africans in this context, but to Asians, some of whom were much darker toned than others due to skin pigmentation or sunlight exposure. I think we are discussing the arrangement of deck chairs on the Titanic on this one, however.

Racial stereotypes, while perhaps once acceptable in polite company, and certainly appeared in many different societies, are no longer accepted by todays society.
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