The month of February is recognized in the United States as Black History Month, a time to honor the endeavors of Black Americans historically known for their contributions to America. Despite the fact said month is supposed to honor Black History, some parties — specifically certain organizations — have crossed the “racism” line in their attempts to do such. For example, the Inquisitr reported that a Walmart in Nashville, Tennessee, included Mandingo, a film party used as inspiration for Django Unchained, as one of the movies to be featured for their Black History Month display.
Now, there is news that Wright State University (WSU) is in hot water for their attempt to honor Black History Month. Following in the footsteps of NBC News back in 2010, WSU had a menu that served “soul food” in honor of Black History Month, and just like NBC News before them, they are receiving a lot of backlash for it.
According to an article by WHIO, David Hopkins, the president of WSU, apologized on Thursday for a Black History Month menu that offended some WSU students.
“I apologize to anyone hurt by the display. To our credit, the menu was quickly removed. But the larger question remains: Why was it done? I will find out. We will take steps to prevent this kind of behavior occurring in the future.”
The menu in question offered food stereotyped as “soul food” to black culture. This includes fried chicken, collard greens, and cornbread. They were displayed under a picture of Martin Luther King, Jr. and other prominent Black American figures. It should be noted that even though WSU has apologized, it is technically not their fault, but the dining service they hired. Chartwells Higher Education Dining Services declined to answer specific questions about the menu but provided an apologetic statement to the situation.
“Chartwells celebrates many national events on campus and tries to provide authentic and traditional cuisine to reflect each theme. In no way was the promotion associated with Black History Month meant to be insensitive. We could have done a better job putting this in context of a cultural dining experience. We sincerely apologize.”
It should be reported that the “racist” menu incident during Black History Month is not an isolated incident. IJReview followed-up on WSU’s situation by providing incidents similar in nature. Last year, Lasell College, Brandeis University, and Drake University offered menus that were deemed “racist” for having fried chicken and collard greens. Reportedly, all the menus from those institutes of higher learning came from Sodexo, in which they later apologized.
However, Sodexo offered the same menu at another school and according to theBoston Globe, it wasn’t met with backlash. There is one simple reason why too.
“At Binghamton University in New York, the Black Student Union collaborated with Sodexo to create a Black History Month menu that included fried chicken and collard greens, according to the campus’s independent student-run newspaper the Pipe Dream.”
Now that you know about WSU’s “racist” menu and how it is causing a firestorm during Black History Month, what are your views? It is agreed that if the intent of the menu was to cause harm, it is wrong. But if it’s collaborated among members of a black student body, does that justify acceptability?
[Image via WHIO]