From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Green, Nancy

(born: 1834  -  died: 1923) 

Born a slave in Montgomery County, KY, Nancy Green was the world's first living trademark: she was the original "Aunt Jemima." It has been said that Green did not develop the pancake mix, while an article in the Negro Star newspaper states that a milling company in St. Louis obtained the pancake recipe from Green, but there are no details as to the agreement [source: "Mrs. Nancy Green of "Aunt Jemima" fame, is dead," Negro Star, 09/14/1923, p.1]. Nancy Green did not own the pancake company. Green was first introduced as Aunt Jemima at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago. She received a lifetime contract and traveled all over the country promoting Aunt Jemima Pancake Mix until her death in 1923. The pancake company was sold to the Quaker Oats Company in 1925. The image of Aunt Jemima on the pancake box continued. During the 1950s, there was outspoken criticism. Since that time the image has received a number of upgrades. Nancy Green left Kentucky for Chicago when she was hired as a nurse for the Walker family whose children grew up to become Chicago Circuit Judge Charles M. Walker and Dr. Samuel Walker. Green was the first African American missionary worker and an organizer of the Olivet Baptist Church, one of the largest African American churches in Chicago. She died in a car accident in 1923. For more see Nancy Green, the original "Aunt Jemima", an African American Registry website; Notable Black American Women. Book III, ed. by J. C. Smith; and "Aunt Jemima, victim of auto," Urbana Daily Courier, 10/27/1923, p. 7 [full-text of article in Illinois Digital Newspaper Collection].


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NKAA Source: Notable Black American women : book III

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“Green, Nancy,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed May 27, 2024,

Last modified: 2017-09-14 21:29:48