Controversial Black History Month Lunch Menu Prompts Concord School to Apologize

CBS SF Bay Area, February 6, 2014

Officials at an East Bay private school are apologizing after a controversial lunch menu option to celebrate Black History Month.

Students at Carondelet High School for Girls in Concord wanted to come up with ways to observe the occasion during a lunchtime celebration Friday. But when the school announced a menu of fried chicken, cornbread and watermelon, other students and parents became offended.

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School officials held an assembly on campus Wednesday to discuss the issue and also sent a letter apologizing to parents.

Principal Nancy Libby wrote that the items were taken off the menu and that the school doesn’t perpetuate racial stereotypes.

Libby also wrote the school will hold a diversity assembly for students and faculty.

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While many students felt bad about the announcement, some said our society is too sensitive.

“I understand like how it would offend people. But we’re just doing something to celebrate, not bring it down,” said Morgan Hartford, a junior at the school.

Gabby Simones, a junior at the school who is Latina said, “On Cinco de Mayo we would have probably had enchiladas, rice and beans.”

Robert Jackson, a teacher at Acts Christian Academy said offering fried chicken, cornbread and watermelon is different, because the food goes back to the history of slavery. {snip}

Elizabeth Williams of the Contra Costa County Equal Opportunity Commission and a member of the NAACP had a different view.  “What is the big deal?” Williams said. “Historically and even now, we like our chicken and I’m not going to stop eating my fried chicken, nor my cornbread, nor my watermelon.”

“Let’s move on. Let’s be more progressive. Let’s not be so insulted about something so minute,” Williams said.

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