The principal of an all-girls Catholic school in California had a lot of explaining to do this week after the cafeteria offered a special Black History Month menu of watermelon, fried chicken and cornbread. The menu sparked outrage after parents and students complained that the meal celebrated Black stereotypes, not history, in an assembly and explanatory letter.

Nancy Libby, the head at Carondelet High School, responded to the outcry by speaking to members of the Black Student Union and offering a public apology for the offensive menu.

“I’d like to apologize for this announcement and any hurt this caused students, parents or community members,” she stated in a letter. “Please know that at no time at Carondelet do we wish to perpetrate (sic) racial stereotypes.’

According to University of San Francisco professor James Taylor, the idea was well-intentioned but poorly executed. “Chicken, watermelon, collard greens — these stereotypes of Black southern culture come from the same place that the N-word comes from,” he told NBC. “This is not like this food represents some heroic moment in African-American experience. What it represents is the degradation and the stereotyping of African-Americans.”

Ruth Wilson, chair of the African-American Studies Department at San Jose State University, added that the reason why this meal sparks bad feelings “is because blackface-era cartoons and plays showed African-Americans eating these foods in ugly caricature depictions.”

The Associated Press reported the items were removed from the menu and a special diversity assembly will be held to discuss the matter.

Leave your thoughts in the comments below and tell us what foods you think are appropriate.

8 thoughts on “School Offers Offensive Black History Month Menu: Fried Chicken, Watermelon & Cornbread

  1. All the people on drugs,unemployed,homeless,dont we have more important issues to put our energy and spirits toward,the food was offered as a gift not as if it was done in a mean spirit,shame on the folks raising hell

  2. Well I don’t see it as being offensive at all the fact of the matter is we like fried chicken, watermelon , greens and cornbread and so does many other races. I will not be ashamed of where I derived from or the struggle that my people have gone though to get where we are to day. They took what they were given and made a meal out of it and now they call it Southern Cookin please spare me the indignation you want to talk about offensive listen to what we say about ourselves.

  3. Come on BAW, white people would never bat an eye at such trivial petty matters. Maybe that’s why they are so far ahead of us socioeconocally.

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