September 23


September 23, 1923 Nancy Green, storyteller, cook, and one of the first African Americans hired to promote a corporate trademark, died. Green was born enslaved November 17, 1834 in Montgomery County, Kentucky. In 1890, she was hired by the R.T. Davis Milling Company to represent Aunt Jemima for a ready-mixed, self-rising flour. In 1893, Green was introduced as Aunt Jemima at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois where it was her job to operate a pancake cooking display. Her personality and cooking ability made the display so successful that the company received over 50,000 orders and she received a medal and certificate from the Expo officials. After the Expo, Green was given a lifetime contract to adopt the Aunt Jemima moniker and promote the pancake mix. She traveled on promotional tours all over the country and gained the financial freedom to become an activist and engage in antipoverty programs. In 1998, “Slave in a Box: The Strange Career of Aunt Jemima” was published.



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