Rosa Washington Riles -- Aunt Jemima born in Brown County By T. Although, the character of Aunt Jemima has been often criticized for its stereotypical portrayal of African-Americans, Rosa remains one of Brown County's most beloved daughters.
At various times along the way, advertising "gimmicks" such as salt and pepper shakers, penny banks and rag dolls were produced - all in the easily recognized form of the chubby Aunt Jemima.
Today, a collection of Aunt Jemima souvenirs and collector's items can be found at the Red Oak Church.
However, she remains an example of the "mammy" stereotype that has been used in advertisements for household items including foods, detergents, planters, ashtrays, sewing accessories, and beverages.
Viewing these images can be disturbing and enlightening at the same time, and Ferris State University is providing a public service by making them available.
These anti-black depictions were routinely manifested in or on material objects: ashtrays, drinking glasses, banks, games, fishing lures, detergent boxes, and other everyday items.
These objects, with racist representations, both reflected and shaped attitudes towards African Americans.
The Jim Crow Museum contains more than 2,000 racist artifacts, dating from pre-Civil War days to the present: cartoons, Sambo masks, Coon toys, Picaninny ashtrays, Ku Klux Klan literature, postcards with Black children portrayed as "alligator bait." "All racial groups have been caricatured in this country, but none have been caricatured as often or in as many ways as have black Americans," Pilgrim writes.
"Blacks have been portrayed in popular culture as pitiable exotics, cannibalistic savages, hypersexual deviants, childlike buffoons, obedient servants, self-loathing victims, and menaces to society.
The late Glen Woods of Russellville, Ohio, gave this collection to the church in recognition of what Aunt Jemima had contributed to the people of the United States.