Every year Vail Commons serves a meal in honor of Black History Month. When you go to the Express Line, you’ll see Fried Chicken, Collard Greens, Macaroni and Cheese, and Black Eyed Peas, with the occasional array of hot sauces. This tends to be one of the better meals Commons has to offer, yet the meal selection seems to me to be playing off of stereotypes about Black Americans. While it is great that Commons is supporting Black History Month, is this the best way to do it?
As we’ve discussed in class, food can be racially charged and can mean more than just a good meal. Fried chicken is often negatively associated with African-Americans, yet Commons consistently chooses to serve this meal. Is there anything wrong with this menu? Would it take adding watermelon to the dessert selection for this theme to be a problem? While I have no problem with Commons serving fried chicken and macaroni and cheese, I think that we need to reconsider its association with Black History Month, and the potential is has to perpetuate negative stereotypes about the Black community.