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“Why is Aunt Jemima Retiring?”: Black Caricature as Mnemonic Device

“Why is Aunt Jemima Retiring?”: Black Caricature as Mnemonic Device

Panel Discussion
Taylor Bythewood-Porter,
 Assistant Curator, California African American Museum
Chris Christion, Visual Artist, Visiting Lecturer at University of California, Berkeley
David Pilgrim, Founder and Curator, Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University

Following years of social pressure and the increased spotlight on corporate links to racism ensuing the murder of George Floyd, the Quaker Oats Company announced in June that it would be retiring the image and name Aunt Jemima for their syrup brand. This news came as a shock to many Americans, who hadn’t previously considered the racial implications of their breakfast products.

In this panel discussion, we will engage with the implications of African American caricature (like Aunt Jemima) and how it relates to popular culture and the consumer market. Joining us will be curator Taylor Bythewood-Porter to discuss the California African American Museum’s exhibition Making Mammy: A Caricature of Black Womanhood, 1840-1940, artist Chris Christion to review his body of work utilizing manufactured Black memorabilia, and curator David Pilgrim to discuss community impact of the Jim Crow Museum.

Please click the link below to join the webinar:
Or iPhone one-tap :
US: +16699006833,,94239963272# or +12532158782,,94239963272#
Or Telephone:
Dial(for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 253 215 8782 or +1 346 248 7799 or +1 312 626 6799 or +1 646 876 9923 or +1 301 715 8592
Webinar ID: 942 3996 3272
International numbers available:

Free Student Meal Tickets

Ullman Commons will be serving pancakes with syrup (not Aunt Jemima) as a dinner option following the event, and we will pay for meals for 50 students (their choice of meal, not just pancakes) who do not have meal plans. Meal tickets are on a first come, first served basis– please sign up here.

This program was generously sponsored by the Cal Lutheran Center for Cultural Engagement and Inclusion, the California African American Museum, and the Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University.

Image credit: Elon Schoenhol for the California African American Museum.

This event is part of the Center for Cultural Engagement and Inclusion series.

Sponsored By

William Rolland Gallery of Fine Art


Rachel Schmid
(805) 493-3697