Black folk can’t deny the love for down south grub. We look forward to filling our plates with fried chicken, greens, yams, peach cobbler and other soul food goodness that has been threaded in the fabric of our culture for decades.
However, did Hopewell Valley Central High School in New Jersey really want to honor the one-month nationally dedicated to melanin or was there ill and stereotypical intent behind their Black History Month lunch menu (see below)?
— NJ.com (@njdotcom) February 20, 2017
The menu, of course, sparked backlash accusing the school of racial stereotyping. Since the adverse response, the school’s superintendent, Thomas A. Smith, issued an apology:
“The decision to include these items without any context or explanation, reinforces racial stereotypes and is not consistent with our district mission and efforts to improve cultural competency among our students and staff,” Smith said.
If the intent was to “celebrate soul food”, there’s still confusion since the high school is predominately White – we’re talking 3 percent African American and 85 percent Caucasian.
And that leads to further questioning:
Does the school honor any other cultural food staples or was this specifically for Black History Month and any other day is the regular cardboard pizza, sugary canned fruit and one-day-before-its-spoiled milk? Does this happen every year or something decided upon this year as racial tensions escalate? Who proposed this idea?
Legit questions, yeah?
Let us know if you think the fried chicken, soul food-inspired lunch was genuine recognition of Black culture or feeding into racial stereotypes, by taking the poll below.