Business News
Published: Oct 9, 2014
Aunt Jemima lawsuit [PHOTO\VIDEO]; syrup recipe heirs demand dough
by Tashi Singh


Aunt Jemima lawsuit [PHOTO\VIDEO]; syrup recipe heirs demand dough, The Descendants of Nancy Green, who was born a slave in Kentucky in 1834, say that she was the first Aunt Jemima model.

Green's heirs have joined a $2 million lawsuit filed by two great-grandsons of Anna Short Harrington, a woman who they say was the model for a more modern version of Aunt Jemima and an actual employee of Quaker Oats who died in 1955.
According to the federal lawsuit the women -- Anna S. Harrington and Nancy Green -- were key in coming up with the recipe for the nation's first self-rising pancake mix and that Green came up with the idea of adding powdered milk for extra flavor.

"Aunt Jemima has become known as one of the most exploited and abused women in American history," said D.W. Hunter, one of Harrington's great-grandsons.

However, Quaker Oats said in response to the lawsuit that Aunt Jemima was never real.

"The image symbolizes a sense of caring, warmth, hospitality and comfort, and is neither based on, nor meant to depict any one person," said the statement from Quaker Oats, a subsidiary of PepsiCo. "While we cannot discuss the details of pending litigation, we do not believe there is any merit to this lawsuit."

In correspondence with the relatives of the Aunt Jemima models, PepsiCo said no contracts have been found.

But Harrington's descendants insist they do exist.

The lawsuit states: Quaker Oats and other companies "made false promises to Nancy Green ... and Anna Harrington," adding that each time their, "name, voice or likeness was used in connection with the products or goods, (the ladies) would receive a percentage of the monies or royalties received."

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