NBC Celebrates Black History Month With Fried Chicken
It seems that the NBC cafeteria honored black history month with a soul food menu featuring fried chicken, collard greens, corn bread, and black-eyed peas.
So who at NBC thought it would be a good idea for the special today to be, among other things, fried chicken, “in honor of Black History Month”?
Because, spoiler alert — it wasn’t a good idea at all. And now NBCU employee Questlove is bringing it to the attention of his 1 million plus Twitter followers.
I’m not sure whether to be amused or bemused, especially since this comes more than a decade after the Fuzzy Zoeller incident.
In this case, it strikes me as well meaning rather than racist.
Yes, it’s true that a lot of black folks grew up eating this sort of food. It’s traditional Southern cuisine — especially for the rural poor — and became associated with African Americans somewhere along the way. But the “fried chicken and watermelon” meme still has negative connotations that major corporations of ought to steer clear of.
I’m surprised this is still going on. I recall as a young cadet in 1984 that West Point served a similar menu on “Henry O. Flipper Day,” honoring the Military Academy’s first black graduate. Even as an 18-year-old fresh from Alabama, that struck me as bizarre. And that was more than a quarter century ago.
One presumes that this particular tradition has been phased out, although I have no intel one way or the other.