In the wake of Quaker Oats deciding to change its Aunt Jemima logo following backlash for racial insensitivity, Vera Harris, whose great aunt was Lillian Richards otherwise known as the model of the logo, expressed her disappointment in the decision. While saying she understood the reason behind the decision, she fears that this may diminish her legacy.
Harris said on Fox News that "if her legacy is swept under the rug and washed away, it's as if she never was a person." Richards took the opportunity simply because it was a job and a way to support herself and her family, Harris explained. "She was an intelligent, young, vital, beautiful Black woman that took the job," she added. Quaker Oats isn't the only company that came under fire for its brand logo. Uncle Ben and Cream of Wheat also revealed that changes would be coming to logos that have racist ties. This movement comes after Land O'Lakes previously removed its Native American woman from its packaging.
After hearing Harris' response to her great-aunt being removed from the brand, many people took to Facebook to share their support in what she stated. Here is a look at some of the most noteworthy responses that poured in.
One of the first comments read, "I am so sad! This is erasing memories for many people who have grown up with Aunt Jemima, she is part of the family. What’s even worse it is taking the her memory way from her family. Why erase everyone’s history, let’s learn from it people."prevnext
A second response read, "I agree with them! I am upset too! Upset for her& her legacy! ALL I will buy or use.., and all I ever saw was a beautiful, happy cook! The box/picture just made you want to try and cook as good as she could, and look so pleased... for your family! Simple, & fun! And some had to make it awful and hateful!!! I will NEVER GET IT IF IT CHANGES.... done!!"prevnext
One person remarked, "I tried to explain to a black friend that I thought it was wrong to remove her picture when I look at it all I see is a beautiful happy black lady that could cook there is nothing wrong with what I feel she is someone to be so proud of removal of her picture is just plain wrong."prevnext
Another person shared the same sentiment as Vera, saying, "So sorry you are having to deal with this...keep your family's legacy. We all love Aunt Jemima!"prevnext
One fan of the product hopes her legacy can remain, "I hope you can fight for this right to keep this. Aunt Jemima is like everyone’s aunt that grew up with her. I remember sitting at the kitchen table as a child, wishing that I could meet her. She made me smile. This whole thing is ludicrous!!!"prevnext
Further down, another comment said, "I never thought of the face of Aunt Jemima being associated with slavery. I liked her smile because it was warm and like a grandmothers face, sweet! I will miss that sweet face! I actually think that is what drew me to by it the first time I bought syrup and was to this day!"prevnext
Speaking on her legacy, one user explained, "I am upset as well. Her story is something that should be told, and realise you can do or be anything or nothing it is up to you. Keep destroying everything and you will know nothing!!!"prev