Nancy Green, Quaker Oats, and decades of opposition to Aunt Jemima

Updated: Jul 27

This short piece examines decades of opposition to the Aunt Jemima trademark. The article briefly discusses Nancy Green (the first person to portray Jemima) and some other well-known aspects of the mark’s history; it then explains Aunt Jemima’s backstory as a slave owned by “Colonel Higbee;” groundbreaking 1930s research into African American consumers’ feelings about the fictional former slave; and how Quaker Oats attempted to craft an early 1990s ad campaign to avoid reminding us of their trademark’s (even more) racist past.

Special thanks to our fantastic summer intern, @Darya Worsell, for her research and thoughtful comments.

This represents my own opinions and does not necessarily represent the opinions of other members of my firm.

202007 Nancy Green, Quaker Oats, and de


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