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Family Of The Real Aunt Jemima Launches Fight To Stop Rebranding

Last week, Quaker Foods North America announced that it would be rebranding Aunt Jemima products [1] because their “origins are based on a racial stereotype” of a “mammy.” Now, the family of one of the real Aunt Jemima’s, Lillian Richard, is fighting back. They don’t want the company to erase their ancestor’s legacy.

Family of Aunt Jemima Lillian Richard Speaks Out 

Vera Harris of Texas told KLTV [2] that her second cousin Lillian Richard worked as an ambassador for the Aunt Jemima brand. Richard worked for the popular breakfast line of Quaker Foods for over 23 years, dating all the way back to 1925.

During that time, Lillian Richard was one of the women who portrayed Aunt Jemima for advertising purposes.

Harris said that Richard was seen as a hero in her hometown of Fouke, TX since she was one of the only black women to find a steady job decades before the civil rights movement.

“A lot of people want it removed. We want the world to know that our cousin Lillian was one of the Aunt Jemima’s and she made an honest living,” Harris explained. “We would ask that you reconsider just wiping all that away. There wasn’t a lot of jobs, especially for black women back in that time. She was discovered by Quaker Oats to be their brand person.” 

Fans are speaking out on the matter as well:

RELATED: Aunt Jemima’s Great-Grandson Is Furious That Her Legacy Is Being Erased [3]

“She made an honest living out of it for a number of years. She toured around Texas,” Harris continued. “She was considered a hero in Hawkins, and we are proud of that. We do not want that history erased.”

Honoring Lillian Richard

There is even a plaque in Hawkins to this day that is dedicated to Richard, commemorating her achievement of portraying Aunt Jemima.

For her family, the Aunt Jemima brand serves as a welcome reminder of the success that Lillian Richard accomplished in her life.

It’s not only the Aunt Jemima brand that they take issue with, Harris also said that the family is firmly against changing the names of military bases because they have relatives who served.

“I wish we would take a breath and not just get rid of everything, because good or bad, it is our history,” Harris added. “Removing that wipes away a part of me. A part of each of us. We are proud of our cousin.”

RELATED: Now That Aunt Jemima Got Canceled, These Brands Might Be Next [1]

Other Families Show Outrage As Well

The family of Anna Short Harrington, who also portrayed Aunt Jemima, expressed similar outrage at Quaker Foods’ rebranding decision.

“This is an injustice for me and my family. This is part of my history, sir,” Harrington’s great-grandson Larnell Evans Sr. told Patch [9]. “The racism they talk about, using images from slavery, that comes from the other side — white people. This company profits off images of our slavery. And their answer is to erase my great-grandmother’s history. A black female. … It hurts.”

Perhaps cancel culture-obsessed liberals should have given some thoughts to these families before they “cancelled” something that meant so much to them.