For years, that bright red label jumped out at me whenever my kids called for pancakes. Not only was it the syrup bottle , but the bright red box of instant pancake and waffle mix too. Guess what? Apparently, I'm a creature of habit, because I recently went shopping and this is what happened.

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Kelly Cordes
Kelly Cordes

I went down the isle to get my pancake mix and syrup, and noticed, as always the bright red label.  I honestly didn't realize until I got home, that Aunt Jemima was missing.


Pretty much everything about the label is still the same, except the name and Aunt Jemima's photo.  The small circle at the top of the label used to have a picture of the fictional character "Aunt Jemima," and now has a picture of the ACTUAL Aunt Jemima, who was not a person at all. The instant pancake mix was the creation of a company called "The Pearl Milling Company", who started making the instant pancake mix in 1889.


The recent changes are bittersweet. There is a long history of knowing the face and name "Aunt Jemima."   Although the beginnings of Aunt Jemima have ties to slavery, as the very first Aunt Jemima was depicted by a woman born into slavery, named Nancy Green, The brand has now pledged to help elevate black women and girls in the food industry, whether it be culinary arts, food innovation, food science and media support. They are awarding a million dollars in grants to non profit organizations that help fulfill that mission. You can learn more by going to the Pearl Milling Companies homepage.

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