Food Series. Episode #4 of 4. In June 2020, Quaker Oats announced they were revamping their famous (infamous?) brand of breakfast products, Aunt Jemima. From the late 19th century to the late 1980s, Aunt Jemima products prominently featured the image of the Black mammy trope to sell the idea that all white families could have the comforting presence of a Southern Black cook in their homes. As always, there was immediately a backlash from Americans who appealed to the place Aunt Jemima holds in American nostalgia – but what many don’t realize is the way that the figure of Aunt Jemima was specifically created to provide that sense of nostalgia drawn from the long, racist history of Black women who were bound to serve white families. In this episode, we explore that history, and go back further to consider how even the staple foods of Southern cuisine originated in the horrors of slavery.
Find transcripts and show notes here: www.digpodcast.org.
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