Has Aunt Jemima sizzled the Romantic South? African American enslavement from 1600---?.
From blackface minstrelsy to American advertisement, Aunt Jemima has remained a cultural touchstone of significant political and social change. The Aunt Jemima icon has existed for almost 100 years and has become a symbol characterizing America's perception of Blacks in America. Starting from her inception, Aunt Jemima has been chained to the derogatory image of "mammy-- a hideous, black woman who, according to White America, was happy and content with her subservience and domesticivity. Mammy was thought of as a wide-grinned, loyal servant who worked faithfully for her white family with unconditional love and commitment. This stereotypic image of mammy became the hallmark for the Aunt Jemima campaign starting in 1889. .
Aunt Jemima-"mammy--has metamorphosized and transcended the racist barriers confining her to inferiority since her original publication. The years 1968 and 1989 represent the two most important periods in the history of Black Advertising. Whereas before, Blacks were used minimally for advertising and marketing, starting in the 1960's Blacks appearance in modern advertising reflected the way Black Power politics changed the image of Africans in America. With the rise of Black Nationalism and Black Pride, Africans began to protest and boycott the derogatory images of Blacks in commercial advertising. Through group solidarity and self-determination, Black Americans were able to pressure advertising companies, such as, Quaker Oats, the owner of the Aunt Jemima line, to change the blatantly stereotypic image of Aunt Jemima, the black woman in America. Although, the Aunt Jemima trademark has continued to market, her initial image has dramatically changed as Black Americans position in society advanced. However, despite her apparent reconstruction and superficial makeover, Aunt Jemima's history still screams White superiority.