The family of the woman who portrayed Aunt Jemima has asked Quaker Oats to reconsider changing the brand in response to the rage after George Floyd’s death.

Lillian Richard portrayed Aunt Jemima for years.

Family historian Vera Harris cannot believe the company is about to erase an important part of her family history and a part of black history:

“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. 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,” Harris said.

Lillian Richard became a goodwill ambassador for Quaker Oats, and for decades, portrayed Aunt Jemima all over Texas.

“She made an honest living out of it for a number of years. She toured around Texas,” Harris said.

In the Fouke community just outside Hawkins is a historic marker dedicated to Lillian Richard, who is recognized as one of several women who portrayed Aunt Jemima.

And the family is proud of what she did.

“She was considered a hero in Hawkins, and we are proud of that. We do not want that history erased,” Harris said.

Harris said the family is also tired of the activism:

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

Lillian Richard died in 1956 after working 23 years for the Quaker Oats company.

Harris said she and the Richards family are also against the renaming of military bases because many of their relatives are veterans.

Cancel Culture exploded after Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben’s, Cream of Wheat, and Eskimo Pies will all be different. We’ve seen statues destroyed and removed.

This is never going to end, is it?


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