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Available Expert - Quaker Oats to remove the Aunt Jemima Brand that it says is “based on a racial stereotype”

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Queen’s University brand strategy expert Dr. Tandy Thomas (Smith School of Business) is available to talk about the decision this week by Quaker Oats to give the Aunt Jemima brand of syrup and pancake mix a new name and image. 

The 130-year-old brand features a Black woman named Aunt Jemima, who was originally dressed as a minstrel character. 

Quaker says it will remove the image and name as part of an effort by the company to make progress toward racial equality. New packaging will begin to appear in the fall of 2020, and a new name for the foods will be announced at a later date. 

“The decision to drop the name and the image of Aunt Jemima is significant because the brand normalized a racist depiction of Black women. This is an important move for Quaker Oats but also contributes to a growing awareness that brands and companies now need to take an active role in social movements to help facilitate cultural change.” says Thomas. 


To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) or Julie Brown ( 613-532-8712 or Julie.brown@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.   

Follow Queen’s News and Media Services on Twitter: http://twitter.com/QueensuMedia.   


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