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

By Marilyn Kern-Foxworth | Go to book overview
1940s Painted package illustration of Aunt Jemima becomes a realistic
photograph.
1955 Aunt Jemima Restaurant opens at Disneyland.
1960s Aunt Jemima image featured on packages and in advertising cam-
paigns becomes a composite.
Introduction of Aunt Jemima frozen foods.
1989 Aunt Jemima trademark is 100 years old.
1989 Trademark modified and reintroduced on May 27.
1991 Quaker Oats/Aunt Jemima forms an alliance with the National
Council of Negro Women.

NOTES
1
During the Middle Ages, pancakes became associated with the celebration preceding Lent. It became the custom to eat pancakes on Shrove Tuesday as a means of using up fats before the Lenten fast began. Shrove Tuesday may have been patterned after an ancient Roman feast held in the early spring.
2
The full verses of "Old Aunt Jemima" appear in J. H. Haverly's Genuine Colored Minstrels Songster ( Chicago, 1880).
3
Fielder and Fielder Mold and Die Works was a favorite for the production of premium giveaways: Salt and pepper shakers for several well-known companies in the guise of the Campbell Kids, a pair of penguins, "Willie" and "Millie," for Kool cigarettes, and a dog and cat set representing Ken-L-Ration pet food were all used as gimmicks to increase name recognition.
4
The price of the cookie jars ranges from $100 to $500, and they are quite rare. The syrup pitchers are valued at $30, and the salt and pepper shaker sets (in mint condition) sell for $50. It is unusual to find the complete family of items, although some do exist.
5
Today Aunt Jemima is primarily associated with pancakes, flour, syrup, corn meal, and grits.
6
Here are ten of the most common syntactic features of black dialect found in many earlier writings, as cited in Marlene G. Fine, Carolyn Anderson, and Gary Eckles , "Black English on Black Situation Comedies", Journal of Communication, Summer 1979, pp. 21-29:
1. Deletion of the past tense marker of the verb, e.g., "passed" = "pass."
2. Deletion of the's suffix for the third person present tense, e.g., "he run home" = "he runs home."
3. Deletion of the auxiliary verb, e.g., "you hear" = "do you hear."
4. Deletion of the copula, e.g., "you tired" = "you are tired."
5. Use of "be" to mean habitation, e.g., "he be workin'."
6. Negative concord, e.g., "don't nobody know" = "nobody knows."
7. Plural subject with singular form of "be," e.g., "they is."

-108-

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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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