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New Orleans musician Master P is using food to fuel social justice.
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The rapper and entrepreneur, born Percy Miller, recently announced the launch of his own food line, called Uncle P’s, which will include grits, rice, beans, pancake mix, syrup and oatmeal. He's also donating part of the profits to initiatives that help Black communities everywhere, and fans on social media are already asking how they can invest in the company.
Master P is launching a food brand with part of the proceeds going to Black community initiatives. (Getty Images)
Master P told Yahoo Finance he was motivated to bolster his food product line after seeing big companies monetize off of images of Black individuals without giving back. So he vowed to bring ownership back to Black communities by donating a portion of sales to initiatives like affordable housing, bringing greater access to education programs in inner cities, and fostering elderly assistance programs in Black neighborhoods.
“When you look at Aunt Jemima, and you look at Uncle Ben, we don’t own those products, we never did,” Master P told Yahoo Finance earlier this year. “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.”
While the brand was originally announced in March, the Black Lives Matter movement sparked by the death of George Floyd has prompted criticism of brands accused of promoting racial stereotypes to profit.
Quaker Oats, the parent company of pancake and syrup brand Aunt Jemima, announced in June it was rebranding with a new name and image, acknowledging that the face of the brand was “based on a racial stereotype.”
The 130-year-old brand’s logo shows a Black woman named Aunt Jemima, who was once dressed as a minstrel character.
AUNT JEMIMA CHANGING NAME, REMOVING IMAGE 'BASED ON A RACIAL STEREOTYPE' FROM PACKAGING
Mars Inc.-owned Uncle Ben’s Rice also said it would stop making products with images of the Uncle Ben character, and earlier this year, butter brand Land O' Lakes removed an image of a Native American woman that had been featured on its brand’s label for almost a century.
“We have been buying products from them for over 100 years with images of people that look like us. We thought that the people pictured on their product labels owned these brands but they have nothing to do with them,” Master P wrote in a recent post on Instagram.
“But through education and research, we realize that these people were only models … Time to add some diversity to the food industry."
Master P fans have also responded to posts, asking how they can invest in the food company.
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Master P said in an Instagram post fans can expect the products at chain retailers.
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