Middle school apologizes for serving chicken & waffles and watermelon on first day of Black History Month

Originally published at: Middle school apologizes for serving chicken & waffles and watermelon on first day of Black History Month | Boing Boing


“unintentional insensitivity” shown by the company but said the menu was not intended as a cultural meal.

No, the intent was racist caricature. Nice try.


On the one hand, Chicken & Waffles and watermelon are awesome. On the other hand WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE that they thought this was the best day to serve those things?


How the hell could this be anything other than intentional??

When was chicken & waffles and watermelon ever an appropriate meal to serve at a middle school?


It honestly sounds a lot nicer than the food I was served at middle school. It’s the context that makes it offensive.


Yeah. Serving it in May makes it festive, in an outdoor picnic kinda way. Serving it for Black History Month is just fucked up.


Aramark was the food service company at my college, and we protested for the workers reguarly, they treated them like shit. IIRC they also service NY prisons.


Simple fix: serve chicken and waffles every now and then regardless of the month, and don’t think you need to serve anything special to celebrate Black History Month.


It depends on how late they were out drinking.

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At first glance this looks like malice rather than ignorance. I would be willing to assume ignorance if they can show something like two rotating cycles that just happened to hit (entrees every x days and fruit every y). But this looks more like malice, the food provider changed the meal, has a history of this behavior spanning multiple instances. It sounds like that contract needs to be dropped as fast as possible.


This seems crappy.
As someone who enjoys celebrating culture through food, anyone here have any recommendations of how to do that mindfully for BHM?
I realize how much I don’t know. As an example, reading about the other infraction, I thought the beverage choices were insulting, but I wouldn’t have necessarily noticed anything about the other food, ribs, collard greens, cornbread, etc. though I equate that more in my mind with southeast USA than anything particularly Black…


I’m not sure you can do that in the context of a cafeteria. Because you can’t just serve the food-you need to educate about why that food is important. Which part of the US did that food come from? Why is it traditional for that particular Black community? And you can’t do that in the line of a cafeteria. Black culture is so wide and varied, It’s almost impossible to choose a meal to honor it without it looking like tokenism.


I think it also depends on how it is done. Just serving that meal without any context behind it is, as someone else pointed out, racist caricature at best.

What about having a black chef from the local area design a menu for a week, and have someone come to speak about the food and it’s place in black history and culture? Learning through food seems a sensible approach.

It’s not good enough to have a white person interpret what they think that menu should be either.


I can’t speak to this particular school, but every school I or my kits have attended the menu is set at least a two weeks in advance, usually a month. This means someone at the school reviewed and approved it, and placed the order or approved the selection.

This was negligence at best, intentional on the part of the food service company and school administration at worse.


Yes, this.

The cafe at the Smithsonian African American History museum is fantastic, for example, the context and authenticity matter.


These menus are just the same two dozen meal items randomly shuffled into different combinations. An unfortunate coincidence, but shit happens.
But I am shocked someone decided watermelon is a dessert item. The radical left has gone too far, give the kids ice-cream.
EDIT: nope, nevermind, random menu item was Philly cheesesteak, but got swapped out last minute? that’s too much.


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I think that you would have to go with something like “This was Frederick Douglass’ favorite meal” with a bit of information on who Frederick Douglass was, with different historical figures each week. You could also do something with peanuts and George Washington Carver.

The food should highlight the history and the people who made history as much as possible.


This^ is what I came to say. As a former middle schooler, I would have been thrilled by the menu choices, but this is pretty egregiously offensive.


in about 4 seconds, a teacher will begin to speak:

I cued it to the relevant lyrics, but this song is still the dope and the video is even doper, so if you’re unfamiliar you really ought to wind that back