Carondelet All-Girls High School in the East Bay area of Concord, California, is making news across the country today for going about celebrating Black History Month by perpetuating stereotypes of African-Americans. The school came under fire by students and parents after a notice was released that the school cafeteria would be offering up fried chicken, cornbread and watermelon during a lunchtime celebration.
Nancy Libbey, Carondelet High Schoool Principal, released this statement after the incident was brought to the attention of local news reporters:
[box type=”shadow”]As you know, during the month of February we celebrate Black History Month. Yesterday an announcement was made that one of the ways we would be celebrating was through food in the cafeteria, specifically fried chicken, cornbread and watermelon would be available on Friday. Today I met with the leaders of the Black Student Union from Carondelet and De La Salle to discuss the announcement. They were poised and articulate…as I would expect from CHS and DLS students!…and suggested the watermelon be taken off the menu as it “could be seen as perpetuating racial stereotypes.” I certainly agreed with their assessment!
I’d like to apologize for this announcement and any hurt this caused students, parents, or community members. Please know at no time at Carondelet do we wish to perpetuate racial stereotypes and we intend to work diligently to do just the opposite. When I speak with the student body tomorrow I will stress this.
Please know also that I have looked into this matter, determined how this happened and have already taken steps to ensure this does not happen again.
Thank you to those of you who contacted me today with your concern. It is only in working together that we best meet the needs of your daughters. Your input is always valued. [/box]
University of San Fransisco Professor D. James Taylor explained why these foods are offensive when tied to Black History Month.
[box type=”shadow”]Chicken, watermelon, collard greens, these stereotypes of black southern culture come from the same place the N-word comes from. This is not like some foods that represent some heroic moment in African-American experience. What it represents is the degradation and the stereotyping of African-Americans.[/box]
School officials are saying that they are looking forward to using the incident as a “teaching experience”.
Watch local coverage of the story below.
for more instances of bigotry in American culture, read the story about how one reporter believes racism to be gone because blacks have their own TV channels, and this arrogant, elitist one-percenter thinks posing with racist images of black women in subjugated, sexual positions is ‘art’.