1889: Rutt and Underwood create an instant pancake mix. Aunt Jemima’s image comes out of the logo used on a vaudeville program featuring Black face minstrel comedians. “Aunt Jemima” is a song that they sing during the show.
1893-1980’s: Real women are chosen by various owners of the company to represent Aunt Jemima at restaurant openings, fairs, grocery stores and food shows. Ex-slave Nancy Green’s (left) likeness is used for the Aunt Jemima logo. Aunt Jemima’s head is adorned with a kerchief.
1968: During the civil rights movement, activists threatened to boycott the current owner of the company (Quaker Oats) if they did not change Aunt Jemima’s mammyish image and free her from the past. Her headscarf is replaced with a head band and she loses weight.
July 1989: Aunt Jemima trades in her head band for a perm and pearl earrings. Quaker Oats believes that Aunt Jemima’s make over shows “Aunt Jemima in a more contemporary light, while preserving the important attributes of warmth, quality, good tastes, heritage and reliability.”