The tragic death of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, 2020 led to a resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement, as evidenced by a groundswell of protests around the world.
Less than one month later, Quaker Oats’ parent company PepsiCo announced that its “Aunt Jemima” brand of over 130 years would be retired, recognizing that the brand’s origins are based on racial stereotypes. Aunt Jemima pancake mixes and syrups have long been breakfast staples around North American kitchen tables. The brand was based on a song, “Old Aunt Jemima”, which was apparently popular in minstrel shows. These shows were a form of American theatre based on purportedly comic racial stereotypes, featuring white performers in blackface portraying Black people in an often derogatory manner.