The New Jemima by Joe Overstreet, 1964, 1970, acrylic on fabric over plywood.

Don’t Call Me Auntie!

“I ain’t none of your damn auntie. I ain’t no kin to you. My name is Alice Caldwell Smith…You see how black I am. I am not your aunt. Don’t call me aunt,” said noted poet Lucille Clifton on what Aunt Jemima would have said to people who called her out of her name.

“Well, in line with my thinking about names, I was thinking about those names that we hold dear, and we take for granted. These are in their voices, and I do voices I think pretty well. Or well enough, at any rate. This is called Aunt Jemima. She is speaking,” said Clifton during an interview with Significant Poets (1).

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