Archive for June 2020

Episode 155: Aunt Jemima

Posted 26 June 2020 by
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Nancy Green was the first of several women who played the role to sell pancake mix 

In 1889, Aunt Jemima crossed from the footlights to the grocery store, where she’s been a fixture for 131 years. On the eve of her departure, we give you the dark history of this American icon – and the stories of a few women who made her come alive.

Aunt Jemima was not a real woman nor did she represent reality. She was the embodiment of a post-civil war, overly romanticized stereotype designed to make (white) people feel nostalgia for the antebellum South…and in this case, she was also used to sell pancake mix.

We’ll give you the history of the Aunt Jemima brand, its roots in minstrel shows, it’s launch at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, and the path of Nancy Green and others hired to play the character of Aunt Jemima. They played her so well, that some people still think that Jemima was a real formerly enslaved woman who pulled herself out of poverty by selling her pancake mix. Some people even think that the Mammy character of stage, screen, and marketing campaign is an accurate portrayal of a family servant.

Some people are very, very wrong.

Time Travel With The History Chicks


By M M Manring


By Toni Tipton-Martin


By Merilyn Kern-Foxworth


By Isabel WIlkerson


The Jim Crow Museum of Racist Memorabilia at Ferris State University in Grand Rapids, Michigan has amassed a collection of racist artifacts from Reconstruction to modern-day including a collection of Mammies from advertising pieces to fishing lures and an explanation of the Mammy myth.

The history of Olivet Baptist Church, Chicago–Nancy Green’s church.

If you love to nerd out over legal documents, here’s Aunt Jemima Mills Co v. Rigney and Co.

Can we ever get enough information about the 1893 World’s Fair? No, we can not. Here’s a nice long article about the terrible treatment of Black Americans at our favorite fair (although we do NOT like this part one bit!)

If you would like to help put the headstone on Nancy Green’s grave, here is the fundraiser!

The original REAL, gen-u-INE article, Aunt Jemima syrup bottle and the Betwitched ad for it.

We have Pinterest boards for every episode including this one: Aunt Jemima 

Moving Pictures!


The Cakewalk dance!


Break song: Slow Cookin’ by Joe and the Spicey Pickles

End song: Character Assasin by Seconds Before

Used with special permission from iLicense


Episode 154: Fannie Lou Hamer

Posted 15 June 2020 by
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Fannie giving her testimony in 1964 at the Democratic National Convention…despite the president’s attempts to silence her.

Fannie Lou Hamer was called the “Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement” and, sometimes, “The Voice of the Civil Rights Movement” and both are very appropriate. (more…)

Episode 153: Catherine the Great, *Part Two of an entirely true story

Posted 8 June 2020 by
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Elle Fanning will mature and look exactly like the real Catherine. Maybe. Probably not.

Are you watching Hulu’s series, The Great, and wondering what the real story of Catherine the Great is?  We’ll finish up her life in this episode, so you can do your own comparing and contrasting. We left Catherine at the end of Part One alone, sad, and directionless. The perfect time for a woman to make some life changes, right?

Oh yeah. (more…)