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‘She’s so much more than just a box of pancakes:’ Pancake breakfast held to celebrate Kentucky woman who inspired Aunt Jemima brand

Kentuckians have created the Nancy Green Project in an effort to educate people about Green’s legacy.
Published: Mar. 5, 2022 at 12:19 PM EST
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MONTGOMERY CO., Ky. (WKYT) - A community breakfast was held in Mount Sterling Saturday to celebrate the woman behind a familiar face.

Nancy Green was born a slave in Montgomery County, and in her adulthood inspired the Aunt Jemima brand.

Kentuckians have created the Nancy Green Project in an effort to educate people about Green’s legacy.

“I think many African American young people can find great peace and strength and encouragement in knowing that an African American woman in the late 1800′s was able to do something so remarkable,” Green’s relative, Michael Hayes said.

Over scrambled eggs, sausage and flapjacks, Nancy Project Founder Candace Minnich and Dubois Community Center President Taunya Jones said they’re giving credit where it’s due.

“In her honor, we put her face on the syrup bottle because we feel those are her pancakes that we’re eating,” Minnich said.

Green’s great, great, great, great nephews Michael and Marcus Hayes flew to Kentucky to be a part of the event.

“It shows change,” Marcus said. “We’re honoring somebody who couldn’t see that. She couldn’t be in a room where you can have that many diverse people smiling, eating.”

Jones said the evangelist, activist and living trademark will continue to be honored in her hometown.

“We’ll have a festival next year, continuing on with the scholarship, we just hope this is an opening up of new treasures,” she said.

The culinary scholarship in Green’s name that will be given to a minority student is now at $7,500 and growing. The Nancy Green Project is still taking donations. Minnich said Community Trust Bank will donate $3,000 annually to the nonprofit.

Minnich and Jones said next, a festival in Green’s name will take place this spring in Montgomery County.

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