Uncle Ben’s, for example, was named after the White Southerner’s practice of referring to black people as “aunt” and “uncle” rather than “Mr.” or “Mrs.” Following the controversy around their brand’s origin, the owners claimed they would make changes to the company. Now, however, they’ll have more competition as Master P has announced he has created his Black-owned alternative to both the rice brand and Aunt Jemima, who was also under fire as their name and logo was “based on a racial stereotype.”
“Uncle P rice we taking over the game!” he wrote in an Instagram post alongside a photo of his products. “White rice, brown rice, and Red beans & rice. They never gonna see us coming, but we are here. If they can do it, we can do it. Start small and build.”
“When you look at Aunt Jemima, and you look at Uncle Ben, we don’t own those products, we never did,” he said. “We need to understand that we’re not going to be able to put money back in our [Black] community because we don’t own those brands. Our grandparents [have] been having us buy those products because they think it’s people that look like us.”
“What we fighting for right now, we got to do it on a financial level and start fighting for those rights on the financial side and start showing people that we have people that are thinking outside the box, coming up with great ideas,” he continued.
“If you have Aunt Jemima pancakes or Uncle Ben rice, you know, those are not real people. [There are] other guys out there and girls that have products, bringing it to life.”
The BLM protests have generally resulted in the support and investment in Black companies. After it was announced there would be a change in Aunt Jemima’s name and logo, Michele’s Syrup, a Black-owned syrup company noticed a surge in their sales.
“I’m not going to take Aunt Jemima’s place. No one ever can, because she’s a different brand from a different era,” she clarified. “But, if you’re looking for a minority company that sells in that category, I’m that. I think we should have the same opportunity as everyone else because we persevered.”