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Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus: Blacks in Advertising, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies ; No) Paperback – November 30, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0275951849 ISBN-10: 0275951847

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Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus: Blacks in Advertising, Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies ; No) + Slave in A Box: The Strange Career of Aunt Jemima (The American South Series)
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Product Details

  • Series: Contributions in Afro-American and African Studies ; No (Book 168)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (November 30, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0275951847
  • ISBN-13: 978-0275951849
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,248,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Journalism professor Kern-Foxworth looks at representations of African Americans in advertising from the 19th century to the present.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The portrayal of African Americans by the advertising industry has been at best stereotypic and two-dimensional and at worst demeaning or nonexistent. Kern-Foxworth (journalism, Texas A&M Univ.) chronicles African Americans' first appearances in advertisements in the United States (classified ads for the return of runaway slaves) to the modern celebrity endorsement spots of Michael Jordan and Bill Cosby. Most of her well-researched and -written book focuses on the early days of packaged goods when many of the stereotypically Jim Crow characters have their origins. The author does an excellent job of exploring the nuances of racial stereotyping. The only weaknesses are the occasional digressive cul-de-sac and the use of dated social science research to support the contemporary analysis. Recommended for history, black studies, and media studies collections.
Edward Buller, "Natural History," New York
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Robin Orlowski on August 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
After the civil war, (segregation notwithstanding) African Americans were technically free people, yet were featured in service products essentially recreating slavery. African Americans were only allowed a public acceptance if they conformed to stereotypical images produced by the larger (predominantely white) society.

Kern-Foxworth's tome provides an eloquent examination of this double bind through brand origins to their modern day counterparts. Early depictions of Aunt Jemima reveal a gross caricturization of Black women's physical features and alleged mannerisms that can never be mistaken for flattery, yet this image was welcomed into many facilities where a living African American irrespective of title would never had been welcome.
Critics of this meticulously researched, spell-binding work could argue the presence of African Americans featured on foodstuffs could be a paean to black visibility via capitalism (where purchasing popularity becomes linked to empowerment/) but the argument would conveniently neglect the undeniably problematic implications of linking African American service and purchase.
Not even a transformation from turbaned servant to the vague "modern woman" has completely resolved very serious cultural contradictions and dilemmas surrounding Aunt Jemima. Is she a tool of the dominant society, a covert agent for revolutionary change or somewhere in between? Through art deconstructing and explore cultural politics, she is positioned as an uneasy reminder of America's less than admirable history of discrimination and bigotry.
Reading this book is tough, but critical for everybody interested in political change and pop culture. Advertising imagery is not inanimate, instead both reflecting and shaping the nation. Encouraging critically thought about the political undertones of pop culture, the author by extension makes profound contributions to civil rights public policy.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ronn Royster on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
great job! research of this nature is very difficult to gather.this book to me is- a basic cross section of the history of this country. images like the ones in this book help to calm, comfort & remind consummers of "Days Gone Bye". sadly these are but a few articals {as negative as most of them are presented}that show blacks in any capacity.more poeples should know the history behind their kitchen cabinets.some of these companies should be ashamed of their logos history.I wonder how many people of color hold top level positions in these companies.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ferne D. Spence on January 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
very good book and in great condition. very informative. and i received it fast, too. the illustrations in Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, and Rastus: Blacks in Advertising Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow were very interesting, also.
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2 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "united7" on March 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
I felt bad...because after reading this book about what a horrible, racist image Aunt Jemima is...I was inspired to go get a box of her mix and eat pancakes three meals a day. Very informative book, it goes a bit far in blaming everything in the world on racism...as is the style of the day
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