Master P has launched a line of food products under the brand “Uncle P” to offer consumers a Black-owned alternative to brands like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s. Despite marketing their products with Black imagery, these companies don’t often give back to or include Black voices.
The New Orleans rapper and entrepreneur told CNN that he had always assumed brands like Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben’s, which use Black names and imagery, were Black-owned. Master P recently learned about the problematic histories behind these brands when they began to be phased out for perpetuating harmful racial stereotypes. So he decided to do something about it.
His new “Uncle P’s Louisiana Seasoned” line of food products includes pancake mix, syrup, oatmeal rice, beans and grits, with a portion of the profits going towards educating inner city kids and assisting elderly people in Black communities across the US.
Speaking with CNN, Master P explained why he created the Uncle P brand. “When you look at Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, a lot of those products are mockeries of African-American people and couldn’t even feed our communities. With Uncle P, the more we make, the more we give. And the only way to give is by owning these products,” P said.
The Uncle P’s brand will go beyond donating to Black communities by creating more job opportunities with upward mobility for Black people. A portion of the profits will be used to develop real estate in Black neighborhoods as well.
“Right now we’re burning down our blocks and our communities while protesting injustice, but if we are able to own products and put money back in our community, we could buy those blocks back instead of burning them down,” he told CNN.
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My partner and I, James Lindsey, created PJ Foods Company to give the world a taste of Louisiana’s authentically seasoned white rice, yellow rice, brown rice, dirty rice, and red beans and rice, while adding diversity in the packaged food shelving space. We are opening the doors for other black-owned companies to produce their own products and brands to change the narrative.
“If they made billions of dollars off Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben, imagine how much we’ll make to give back to our own community. It’ll be us helping us without having to wait for the government. We can actually change the world.”
Master P believes the change is achievable. After all, the self-made millionaire’s music and business empire was forged from a mere $10,000 malpractice settlement that he received after his grandfather’s death. From there, he opened a record store, started a record label and became a serial entrepreneur by investing in a range of industries, including clothing, fast food and sports management.
Although P’s brand was launched back in March, it hadn’t gained traction from consumers until larger brands began retiring and changing their names and controversial logos months later. Many companies made these moves in response to ongoing Black Lives Matter protests against racial injustice and police brutality. Now, Uncle P’s is trying to keep up with demand from major stores.
“It’s not just about having the Uncle P products, but also having a good cause behind it. I’m happy that I can make a difference in my communities.”
Uncle P’s products are currently on grocery store shelves nationwide.