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Cracker Barrel's Name Doesn't Have Racist Origins

Drew Fossen Drew Fossen
10th February 2021
Cracker Barrel's Name Doesn't Have Racist Origins
It means a barrel full of soda crackers (Getty Images).

The Claim

Cracker Barrel’s name and logo have racist origins.

Emerging story

A tweet by DOMODADONN on Twitter claims that the restaurant Cracker Barrel’s name and logo have racist origins: “Cracker was a slang term for whip. That’s why blacks called whites crackers, from the crack of the whip. A cracker barrel is a barrel that held whips for sale at the country store. You see the whip going from the R to the K? Racism in your face!!”

The post has received over 14k retweets and 40k likes on Twitter. Users responded to the tweet, saying things like “Really makes you think #racism #crackas #whip."

Some users argued that “Cracker Barrel’s were full of crackers. Had nothing to do with whips.”

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation found this claim to be fake. According to Merriam-Webster, cracker-barrel is “suggestive of the friendly homespun character of a country store” and the word originates “from the cracker barrel in country stores around which customers lounged for informal conversation.”

Dictionary.com confirms this, saying that the word cracker-barrel originates sometime between 1875-1880 and is an adjective describing the “use of cracker barrel, around which rural people supposedly converse in old-style country stores.”

Dan Evon posted a picture on Twitter of a newspaper ad published in Oklahoma’s May Bulge in 1913, saying that “sometimes a ‘cracker barrel’ is just a barrel of crackers.”

The term “cracker” by itself does have racist origins, as it was a shortened version of "whip-cracker," or enslavers.

Cracker Barrel said in a statement that “the logo does not contain a whip,” and decried racism in every form. Misbar’s investigation shows that it seems that the name and logo were not created with any hint of racism, and they are just references to a barrel of soda crackers.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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