Aunt Jemima on the Pancake Box, 1983
Does anybody know what ever happened to Aunt Jemima on the pancake box?
Rumor has it that she just up and disappeared.
Well, I know the real story
you see I ran into Aunt Jemima one day.
She told me she got tired of wearing that rag wrapped around her head.
And she got tired of making pancakes and waffles for other people to eat while she couldn’t sit down at the table.
She told me that Lincoln emancipated the slaves
but she freed her own damn self.
The last time I saw Aunt Jemima
She was driving a Mercedes-Benz
with a bumper sticker on the back that said
“free at last, free at last,
thank God all mighty
I am free at last.”
— Sylvia Dunnavant, 1983
Betye Saar, “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima”
Salt and Pepper Shakers, ca. 1940’s-1950’s. Aunt Jemima and Uncle Mose in different sizes. Deferential, quiet and happy-the perfect servants.
Aunt Jemima Cookie Jar
Made in 1950’s
Notice how slimmed down Aunt Jemima has become and how much lighter her skin has become-a reflectionof the softening of racial attitudes after World War II. But also notice that the figure suggests the “mammy” figures such as seen in the movie, “Gone with the Wind.” The mammy is the perfect servant. Her voluminous skirts mask any sexuality. And mammy never had any children so she could devote her entire life to taking care of the master and his children.
Aunt Jemima tin flour scoop, ca. 1900-1910
A promotional item given out at Aunt Jemima’s “personal appearances.” The first Aunt Jemima was Nancy Green. Because Green’s image was the one on the product, people believed that there really was such a person as Aunt Jemima.
Aunt Jemima Flyswatter, ca. 1980’s
Advertisement, ca. 1950’s
Aunt Jemima Pancake ad. Part of one of the most successful human trademark campaigns ever, this ad, besides promoting her pancakes also provides a small vignette from Aunt Jemima’s biography, helping to maintain the fiction that she was a real person. This image in this ad is from an African American woman who toured the country promoting the products and image of Aunt Jemima.
Record For Hattie, 1975
All My Troubles Lord, Soon Be Over, 1997
Gonna Lay Down My Burden, 1998
Lest We Forget, Upon Who’s Shoulders, We Now Stand,1998
Aunt Jemima with Black Panther Salute