1. Rastus, the Cream of Wheat chef, created circa 1890 by Emery Mapes, one of the owners of Diamond Milling Company. Mapes adapted the image of an African American chef for a wood-cut image used as a logo for the product. In the 1920s, the woodcut image was replaced by the face of a Chicago waiter who was paid $5 to pose in a chef's hat and jacket. This logo has been used with only slight modifications until the present day.
2. A stereotype of the jolly, former slave, and a character of the coon type often featured in minstrel shows.
3. A pejorative name used by white folk for African American males in the 20th Century.
"By no means a lesser virtue of Toole's novel is his rendering of the particularities of New Orleans, its back streets, its out-of-the-way neighborhoods, its odd speech, its ethnic whites -- and one black in whom Toole has achieved the near-impossible, a superb comic character of immense wit and resourcefulness without the least trace of Rastus minstrelsy."
--Walker Percy, Foreword to 'A Confederacy of Dunces'
The gentleman whose picture is on the Cream of Wheat box.
Rastus has had his picture on the Cream of Wheat box since the 1890s.