Ex-slave Nancy Green becomes “Aunt Jemima”

The R.T. Davis Milling Company, new owner of the Aunt Jemima brand of self-rising pancake flour in 1890, decided to search for an African-American woman to hire as a living trademark for its product. After an extensive search, it discovered ex-slave Nancy Green, 56, working as a cook for a prominent Chicago family.

At the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, Green as Aunt Jemima cooked and served over a million pancakes for visitors. Her warm and outgoing personality, storytelling skills, and good cooking drew so many people to her booth at the Exposition that fair officials had to assign special policemen to keep the crowds moving.

Read more in Nancy Green, Talented Entrepreneur, Transitional Symbol by Kathy Warnes on the Women of Every Complexion and Complexity website.

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