Aunt Jemima ads

In 2020, after a 130-year history, Quaker Foods North America discontinued their famous brand of pancake mixes and syrups, known as 'Aunt Jemima'. Check out this non-literary body of work (BOW) and engage advertisements through the activities below. 

  1. Assign every pair of students in your class one of the ads from the body of work above. Present your ad to your classmates. The guiding question for your presentation is: What makes your advertisement racist? Take questions from your classmates. Classmates may always ask you: 'what makes you say that?' for clarification and elaboration.

  2. In what ways do these ads relate to and deepen your understanding of the seven concepts from this course: representation, perspective, transformation, culture, identity, communication and creativity

  3. In what ways is the racism similar to or different from the McD's ads from the 1970s? Compare and contrast these ads in a class discussion.

  4. How would you write a Paper 1 analysis on one of these ads? Create a mind map and outline for an essay, collectively as a class, using collaborative text editing software such as Google Docs. Your outline should be informed by previous discussions. 


While many ads in this body of work seem archaic, the brand was only recently discontinued (in the year 2020). The secondary sources provided here, together with other ads from their 120-year history, could provide the basis for a good HL Essay on why the brand, despite its efforts to modernise, could never become politically correct.

Last modified: Thursday, 19 November 2020, 1:13 PM