"I admit to having a complicated relationship with Aunt Jemima... For a period of time in the late 1940s and early 1950s, my grandmother, Ione Brown..."

"... was part of an army of women who worked as traveling Aunt Jemimas, visiting small-town fairs and rotary-club breakfasts to conduct pancake-making demonstrations at a time when the notion of ready-mix convenience cooking was new. I never knew about my grandmother’s work until long after she died... [W]hile researching a family memoir... I learned that she made good money and covered a region including Iowa, the Dakotas, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. She was often treated like a celebrity in small towns, but could not stay in local hotels. She kept an eye out for houses that had a small sign in the window that said 'TOURIST,' a code for homes that provided lodging and meals to black people.... As a family, we are offended by the caricature that Aunt Jemima represents, but deeply proud of the way my grandmother used the stage that was available to lift herself up. You see, in those days Aunt Jemima didn’t look like the lady you see on the box today. She was a slave woman, and Ione was expected to act and talk like a slave woman, using the kind of broken patois that blighted the full-page ads in magazines like Women’s Day and Life.... One of the things that irks me most about the Jemima brand is the way the mammy stereotype hijacked what should be an endearing image for black America and tried to turn it into something toxic. Most of us have someone in our family with fleshy arms and a loving smile who serves up cherished advice along with delicious food. They are our aunts and mothers and grandmothers. Our godmothers. Our queens.
You tried to make us ashamed of what Aunt Jemima stood for."

From "Why did it take so long to set Aunt Jemima free?" by Michele L. Norris (WaPo). (Quaker Foods announced that it is retiring the Aunt Jemima brand because to "make progress toward racial equality.")

ADDED: At the NY Post, I'm seeing "After Aunt Jemima, people call to cancel Uncle Ben’s and Mrs. Butterworth’s." I understand about Uncle Ben, but Mrs. Butterworth? I've never perceived Mrs. Butterworth as black.
The syrup, sold in a matronly woman-shaped bottle, is accused of being rooted in mammy culture and was modeled after the body of Thelma “Butterfly” McQueen, the black actress who played Prissy in “Gone With The Wind.” The Jim Crow-era “mammy” character was often used to show that black women were happy working in white households....
That's news to me. I looked up Mrs. Butterworth on Wikipedia and it did not contain that information. I did learn that the voice for the character was done by Mary Kay Bergman, who looked like this:
"Her parents were Jewish," and she died by suicide at the age of 38 in 1999. She was the original lead female voice on "South Park."
Her characters included Liane Cartman, Sheila Broflovski, Shelly Marsh, Sharon Marsh, Carol McCormick and Wendy Testaburger.... Bergman credited South Park for pulling her out of a typecasting rut. 'I'm known for these sweet, cute little characters,' she said, noting her roles in various Disney films. "So I've been doing them forever. My agents were trying to submit me on shows that are edgy, and they're laughing, 'Mary Kay, are you kidding? No way!'" After Bergman's death, the two episodes "Starvin' Marvin in Space" (the final episode for which she recorded original dialogue) and "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics" (the final episode in which her voice was used via archive footage) were dedicated in her memory.
No comment on the role of Starvin' Marvin and Mr. Hankey in the quest for progress toward racial equality. RIP Mary Kay Bergman. Watch this (it's phenomenal):



Mrs. Butterworth voice at 1:11.

ADDED: Norris writes that her grandmother, in the role of Aunt Jemima had to use a "kind of broken patois." And I see in the comments that David Begley is asking, "Just asking, but isn’t 'broken patois' the language of today’s rap music?" Which makes me wonder, what's wrong with a patois? To answer my own question, I naturally look up "patois" in the OED.

I see that it's "dialect spoken by the people of a particular region (esp. of France or French-speaking Switzerland), and differing substantially from the standard written language of the country" or — and this is "frequently depreciative" — "a regional dialect; a variety of language specific to a particular area, nationality, etc., which is considered to differ from the standard or orthodox version."

I was intrigued by this example from "The Sheltering Sky" by Paul Bowles (who was born in New York City):
Then he remembered having heard that Americans did not speak English in any case, that they had a patois which only they could understand among themselves. The most unpleasant part of the situation to him was the fact that he would be in bed, while the American would be free to roam about the room, would enjoy all the advantages, physical and moral.

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