(from Rare-Posters.com)

Can you say “Cream of Wheat”! HAAAAAA! Let’s keep it going!

Cream of Wheat, RASTUS(Wiki’pedia):

Cream of Wheat is a hot breakfast cereal or porridge invented in 1893 by wheat millers in Grand Forks, North Dakota.[1] The cereal is currently manufactured and sold by B&G Foods. Until 2007, it was the Nabisco brand made by Kraft Foods. It is similar in texture to grits, but made with farina (ground wheat) instead of ground corn. The product made its debut at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago, Illinois.

In addition to its wheat-based products, the rice-based Cream of Rice is also produced as part of the product line, and is often a recommended early food for infants and toddlers and for people who can’t have wheat or gluten.

Package Design:

The original boxes of Cream of Wheat were hand-made and lettered, and emblazoned with the image of a black chef produced by Emery Mapes. The character was named Rastus, and the image was included on all boxes and advertisements and continues to be used today with only very slight changes. A stereotypical black icon was fairly common for U.S. commercial brands at the time of the cereal’s creation; for other examples, see Aunt Jemimaand Uncle Ben. It has long been thought that a black chef named Frank L. White was the model for the chef shown on the Cream of Wheat box. White, who died in 1938 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Leslie, Michigan, had claimed to be the model for the Cream of Wheat box. In June 2007, a headstone was erected for Mr. White. The headstone contains his name and an etching taken from the man depicted on the Cream of Wheat box.

Rastus:

Rastus is a pejorative term traditionally associated with African Americans in the United States. It is considered highly offensive.

The name is sometimes given as ‘Rastus, and it is likely a shortening of Erastus, a disciple of St. Paul mentioned in Acts 19:22, Romans 16:23, and 2 Timothy 4:20. “Rastus” has been used as a generic, often derogatory, name for black men at least since 1880, when Joel Chandler Harris included a Black deacon named “Brer Rastus” in the first Uncle Remus book. Contrary to popular belief, however, “Rastus” has never been particularly popular as a Black name. For example, the 1870 census reported only 42 individuals named “Rastus” in the United States, of whom only four were Black or mulatto.

Rastus—as any happy black man, not as a particular person—became a familiar character in minstrel shows (see, for example, Every Time I Turn Around: Rite, Reversal, and the End of Blackface Minstrelsy, retrieved May 3, 2006, and Racism and Poverty in Ford City, PA, 1959: Minstrel Show, retrieved May 3, 2006), in books such as Adventures of Rufus Rastus Brown in Darktown and Rastus Comes to the Point: A Negro Farce, in popular songs such as Rastus, Take Me Back and (Rufus Rastus Johnson Brown) What You Going to Do When the Rent Comes ‘Round, on radio, and in films, most notably the Rastus series of short films, with titles that included How Rastus Got His Chicken and Rastus Runs Amuck.

“Rastus” is also the name of the African-American character that first appeared on packages of Cream of Wheat cereal in 1890 and whose image remains the Cream of Wheat trademark today. The image is believed to be from a photograph of Frank L. White, a Chicago chef who reportedly was paid five dollars to pose in a chef’s hat and jacket. His face has been featured on the box with only slight modifications until the present day.

(From Rare-Posters.com)

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