After Quaker Foods said it was changing its name, the great-grandson of the real Aunt Jemima was angry that cancel culture was destroying her legacy.
Yesterday, we told you that Quaker Foods gave in to calls to “cancel” Aunt Jemima and will change the brand’s name. Anna Short Harrington, the great-grandson of the real Aunt Jemima, is now speaking out about how angry and sad he is that her legacy is being erased.
Anna Short Harrington’s “Aunt Jemima” Great-Grandson Speaks Out
“This isn’t fair to my family or me. “This is a part of my history, sir,” Larnell Evans Sr. told Patch. “The racism they talk about, which they illustrate with pictures of slavery, comes from the other side, which is white people. This company makes money off of pictures of us being slaves. And their answer is to get rid of the history of my great-grandmother. A woman who is black. It’s painful.
In 1893, at the Chicago World’s Fair, a formerly enslaved person, Nancy Green, showed off the first “Aunt Jemima.” Green worked as a cook on the city’s South Side. She was hired to serve pancakes to people who came to the fair while wearing a headscarf and an apron.
She played “Aunt Jemima” until 1923 when she passed away. Then Evans said that Anna Short Harrington, his grandmother, took her place.
Uses of Quaker Foods Anna Short Harrington’s Likeness
Harrington was a cook for fraternities at Syracuse University, and the guys loved her pancakes. In 1935, she was serving pancakes at the New York State Fair when a Quaker Foods rep found her.
Quaker Foods hired her immediately and put her picture on their products and ads. They also sent her all over the country to serve pancakes dressed as “Aunt Jemima,” which made her a national star.
“She worked for Quaker Oats for 20 years. Evans said, “As Aunt Jemima, she went all the way around the United States and Canada making pancakes for them.” “This woman took care of all of those people after slavery ended. She was Aunt Jemima at work. That was part of her job. How do you think I feel as a black man telling you about my family history that they are trying to erase?”
Evans, a disabled 66-year-old former U.S. Marine, said Quaker Foods also used Harrington’s pancake recipe. In 2014, her descendants tried to sue the company for $3 billion because it didn’t pay them royalties. They lost the case.
Evans Bets Twice as Much
Evans said Quaker Foods should admit that they made money off slave images and the likenesses of Green and Harrington instead of taking them all off the shelves.
Some people have the same ideas and share them:
“How many white people grew up watching Aunt Jemima every morning at breakfast?” he asked. “How many white businesses made lots of money but didn’t give us a dime? They should have to look at it, in my opinion. They can’t just get rid of it while we still have to deal with it.”
“After making all that money, and now that black people are saying we want restitution for slavery, they’re just going to erase history as if it never happened?” Evans added. “They won’t give us anything, are they?” Why do they have the right?”
But Quaker Foods has said that Aunt Jemima logos and pictures will be taken off all of their products by the end of the year.