Ethel Ernestine Harper

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Ethel Ernestine Harper (1903–1979)[1] was an American performer. She is best known for her portrayal of the Aunt Jemima advertising character during the 1950s. She was also the final "living person" basis for the official Aunt Jemima image most commonly seen in print and on billboards before it was changed to a composite in the 1960s.[2] She worked as a traveling "Aunt Jemima" on behalf of the Quaker Oats Company, giving presentations at schools, churches and other organizations.

Harper graduated from college when she was seventeen years old. She worked as a teacher.[3] She also sang with the Ginger Snaps, and she appeared in the 1939 Broadway production The Hot Mikado with Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. She took the role of Aunt Jemima during the 1940s. Harper died of a heart attack in 1979.[1]

See also[edit]

Other actresses portraying Aunt Jemima:


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ "The Myth of Aunt Jemima: Representations of Race and Region". Retrieved 5 May 2015. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-11-02. Retrieved 2007-11-08.