An all-girls Catholic high school in California is under fire after the school announced they would be serving fried chicken, watermelon and cornbread to celebrate Black History Month.
The stereotype-inspired lunch menu has since been pulled after parents found out about the lunch plans.
Parents said they found the menu offensive and stated that it perpetuated racial stereotypes.
Since the racist allegations came flying through the doors of Carondelet High School, the principal has released a public apology.
“I’d like to apologize for the announcement and any hurt this caused students, parents or community members,” Nancy Libby said in an apology letter sent out to the parents. “Please know that at no time at Carondelet do we wish to perpetrate racial stereotypes.”
As it turns out, it wasn’t school administrators’ idea to serve the lunch.
A group of students began brainstorming ways to celebrate Black History Month and came up with what they thought be an appropriate lunch idea.
The problem is that fried chicken, cornbread and watermelon are food items that are often used to create racist caricatures of African-Americans.
While the meal itself does not necessarily come with racial implications, serving that particular meal specifically in honor of Black History Month rubbed many Black parents the wrong way.
An African-American folklore professor from the University of Missouri explained that the iconically controversial film “Birth of a Nation” is what actually created the negative relationship between Blacks and fried chicken.
In the film, which was created to discourage politicians from allowing Blacks to vote, Black politicians are portrayed in a rowdy, unintelligent way.
In one scene, the Black politicians are all seen together sloppily eating fried chicken during their legislative session.
“That image really solidified the way white people thought of Black people and fried chicken,” the professor told NPR. “It’s still a way to express racial (contempt) without getting into serious trouble.”
In addition to pulling the lunch menu, the school held a diversity assembly on Wednesday.