Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus: Blacks in Advertising, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow

By Marilyn Kern-Foxworth | Go to book overview

socioeconomic levels within the African American community" (Jewell, 1993, p. 62).

Again, Aunt Jemima makes history by becoming one of the few trademarks that have remained a part of consumer-oriented products for more than 100 years. The promotional and marketing savvy of the trademark's owners has been unquestionably ingenious. They have been pioneers in American advertising, and in so doing have made a permanent mark in its history. By creating the first living trademark, the owners indirectly gave birth to Mr. Whipple (Charmin toilet tissue) and Madge (Palmolive dishwashing liquid) and made Aunt Jemima a household word.

It should be noted, however, that the insight t0 modify Aunt Jemima's image was not solely the idea of her owners. Quaker Oats, like so many other companies, was given the impetus to change because of the concerted efforts of organizations concerned about the concepts such stereotypical portrayals were forging in young, impressionable minds.


Appendix: Chronology of Important Dates in the History of Aunt Jemima
1889 Pearl Milling Company founded by Charles Rutt and Chris
Underwood.fx
Creation of the first ready-mixed pancake flour.
Aunt Jemima chosen by Charles Rutt as advertising's first living
trademark.
Aunt Jemima Manufacturing Company replaces Pearl Milling
Company.
1890 Aunt Jemima trademark registered by Bert Underwood, brother of
Chris.
Aunt Jemima Manufacturing Company sold to R_ T. Davis Milling
Company.
1893 Nancy Green debuts as Aunt Jemima at World's Columbian Exhi-
bition, Chicago, 1893.
1895 Aunt Jemima paper dolls introduced.
1900 Master of promotional strategies for Aunt Jemima trademark, R. T.
Davis, dies.
1903 Reorganization of R. T. Davis Milling Company.
1905 Aunt Jemima rag dolls introduced.
1914 R. T. Davis Milling Company reincorporated as Aunt Jemima Mills
Company.
1926 Aunt Jemima Mills Company sold to Quaker Oats Company for
$4,202,077.28.

-107-

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Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus: Blacks in Advertising, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • Introduction xvii
  • References xxi
  • Chapter 1 - Slave Advertisements: A Mirror to the "Peculiar Institution" 1
  • Notes 25
  • References 26
  • Chapter 2 - Memories of the Way We Were: Blacks in Early Print and Electronic Advertising 29
  • Notes 41
  • References 41
  • Chapter 3 - Myths, Lies, and Stereotypes: Black Advertising Symbols, Characters, and Models 43
  • References 58
  • Chapter 4 - Aunt Jemia: The Most Battered` Woman in America Rises to the Top 61
  • Appendix: Chronology of Important Dates in the History of Aunt Jemima 107
  • Notes 108
  • References 109
  • Chapter 5 Invisible Consumers: Gaining Equal Representation for Blacks in Advertising 115
  • Notes 127
  • References 127
  • Chapter 6 - Separate and Definitely Not Equal: Frequency of Blacks in Advertising 131
  • Notes 146
  • References 146
  • Chapter 7 - Blacks in Advertising: Critics Give Two Thumbs Up 149
  • Notes 163
  • References 164
  • Chapter 8 - Epilogue: Colorizing Advertising: a 21st-Century Challenge 167
  • Notes 172
  • References 172
  • Appendix: African-American Museums and Resource Centers 175
  • Selected Bibliography 183
  • Index 191
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