Moss Kendrix

Introduction

The Life and Legacy of Moss Kendrix

The Coca-Cola Years

The Coca-Cola Proposal

The National Association of Market Developers

SPECIAL REPORT: The Changing Face of the Urban Markets

The African-American Image Abroad: Golly, It's Good!

The African-American Image in Advertising

The Advertiser's Holy Trinity: Aunt Jemima, Rastus, and Uncle Ben

A Distorted Reflection: African-Americans and Beauty Products

The Times They Are A-Changing 1960 - 1990

The Advertising Future for African-Americans

What the Public Thinks, Counts

The Alexandria Black History Museum

The Museum of Public Relations home page

 

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Women Who Have Portrayed Aunt Jemima

Nancy Green (1834 - 1923)
The first Aunt Jemima, Nancy Green, was born a slave in 1834. She signed an exclusive contract which gave her the right to portray the character for the rest of her life. Green was featured at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. Green, as Aunt Jemima, cooked pancakes, sang songs, and told stories of the Old South.*
Anna Robinson ( ? - 1951)
In 1933, Anna Robinson became the second Aunt Jemima, and was featured at the Chicago Century of Progress Exhibition. Robinson's likeness was captured on a painted portrait, an image that changed the product's packaging.*
Edith Wilson ( ? - 1981)
Prior to becoming the character, Edith Wilson was a classic blues singer and actress in Chicago. She appeared in "Amos 'n' Andy" and the movie, To Have and Have Not. Quaker Oats had Wison portray Aunt Jemima on radio, television, and in personal appearances from 1948 to 1966. Wilson was the first Aunt Jemima to appear in television commercials.*
Ethel Ernestine Harper ( ? - 1981)
Ethel Ernestine Harper was Aunt Jemima during the 1950s. Prior to assuming the role, Harper graduated from college at the age of 17 and became a teacher. As an acrtess, Harper performed in the Hot Mikado and the Negro Follies.*
Rosie Hall (1900 - 1967)
Rosie Hall worked for Quaker Oaats in the company's advertising department until she discovered their need for a new Aunt Jemima. In 1988 they declared her grave an historical landmark.*
Aylene Lewis ( ? - 1964)
Aylene Lewis first portrayed Aunt Jemima in 1955 at a restaurant of the same name at Disneyland. As Aunt Jemima, Lewis posed for pictures with visitors.*
Ann Short Harrington (1900 - 1955)
Little is known about the career of Ann Harrington. Clippings from New York papers indicate the Harrington was "discovered" working as a cook in Syracuse, New York for the Kapa Sigma fraternity house. Before the fraternity, Harrington had worked for the former New York Governor Thomas E. Dewey. It is unknown how long Ann Harrington portrayed Aunt Jemima, but she apparently appeared on television shows as the character in the New York area.**

 

*Biographies are from Marilyn Kern-Foxworth's book, Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben and Rastus: Blacks in advertising, Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Connecticut and London: Greenwood Press, 1994
** Information courtesy, Carl Ingram, Lena Ratcliff, and Adam Harrington.