It’s Saturday morning and I should probably be doing something other than sitting on my computer, so this will be a quick post. In case you missed it, NBC studios according to many this week dropped the ball. See, it’s Black History Month and the NBC cafeteria decided in honor of Back History Month to offer a special meal that is eaten by Black Americans. So they chose a meal that included fried chicken and collard greens and well shit hit the fan.
Turns out quite a few of my brothas and sistas felt that such a meal choice was demeaning and playing into bad stereotypes. I consider myself an enlightened Black woman, but I have to be honest, its fucking fried chicken and greens. There are a great deal of Black Americans especially those with southern roots who eat fried chicken and greens, hell plenty of folks period who love this type of meal especially if they hail from the South. If anything I am mad about the fact that things like collard greens, baked macaroni and cheese and fried chicken are often shown as Black things when in fact they are more what I consider southern.
As far as charges of racism, there is plenty of racism that is upfront and in our faces and I am sorry but getting pissy over a food choice is just silly and takes away from the real racism out there. It really is not unusual to celebrate an ethnic or racial group by eating meals related to the culture…hell, I am going to a Chinese New Year’s Party and everyone has been asked to bring an Asian dish. I have gone to Cinco De Mayo celebrations and eaten Mexican food.
I hardly think it’s insulting to want to celebrate Black History Month by serving dishes common to Black folks…the reality is that while fried chicken may be seen as an insult, fact is its one of the few items along with collard greens that is universal among Black folks. No, we don’t all cook em the same. I have friends who cook ole skool style with fatback, lard and a grease extravaganza , I know folks who oven bake their chicken and cook their greens to keep em crunchy, green and healthy.
So in choosing such a dish while it may have a mixed history historically the fact is it is a universally eaten food more so than creole dishes you might find down in Louisiana. Or say the Caribbean based dishes that are common place among Blacks in New York and parts of the East Coast.
So I say if you don’t like fried chicken and greens that’s cool but let’s not act like it’s an offensive dish. No, an offensive dish would have been a plate of chitterlings, and pigs feet…something that that very few Blacks still eat in part because the art of preparing them has been lost. But let’s be honest there is nothing healthy about such items and really they do represent the scraps our slave ancestors were given and were able to thrive on and beat the odds. Yet at the end of the day, I know of very few Black folks who would eat these items in any fashion, so yeah a plate of chitterlings would definitely be seen as offensive- never mind they are rather offensive smelling.
No, leave the chicken alone and pass me the hot sauce.