Society

Students Upset After Black History Lunch Event Features Stereotypical Dishes

| by Jonathan Wolfe

African Americans have a rich culinary history. It's no surprise that people would want to celebrate that history, especially during Black History Month. What is surpising, though, is how one California high school went about doing it.

Students at Carondelet High School in San Francisco, California wanted to hold a special lunch featuring African American cuisine in honor of Black History Month. But after the menu for the lunch was revealed, students didn’t feel proud or excited. They felt insulted.

The menu, designed by school administrators, consisted only of fried chicken, cornbread, and watermelon. Needless to say, students and parents took offense to the school’s choices. The reaction to the menu was so strong that administrators were forced to hold a student body meeting and formally apologize for the menu. Principal Nancy Libby then sent a letter home to parents.

"I'd like to apologize for the announcement and any hurt this caused students, parents or community members," the letter said. "Please know that at no time at Carondelet do we wish to perpetrate racial stereotypes."

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Students told NBC Bay Area that Libby talked to members of the school’s Black Student Union about the menu. The students suggested watermelon be taken off the menu, and it was. Libby’s letter to parents said fried chicken and cornbread will be taken off as well.

The school now plans to hold a diversity assembly for school faculty and students. 

Source: NBC Bay Area