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  #1  
Old 01-06-2010, 10:37 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Why is fried chicken racist in the USA?

Inspired by this thread.

So fried chicken is racist in the USA? Why? My mind boggles. I thought the commentators on the linked video were spectacularly drivelsome and so cut them short.

Educate me.
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  #2  
Old 01-06-2010, 10:46 AM
pan1 pan1 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Inspired by this thread.

So fried chicken is racist in the USA? Why? My mind boggles. I thought the commentators on the linked video were spectacularly drivelsome and so cut them short.

Educate me.
Fried Chicken is not racist in and of itself.

Neither is Watermelon.

But there is a stereotype that says that black people like Fried Chicken and Watermelon. It is thus possible to exploit that stereotype in a racist way.
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  #3  
Old 01-06-2010, 10:52 AM
Mr. Slant Mr.  Slant is offline
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It's a stereotyped poor-people-food for residents of the southeastern US.
Black = Poor is apparently racist.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:55 AM
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"Black people like fried chicken" is a stereotype in the US.

However, I think any ad, in the US, that had a white guy handing out something to a black crowd to calm them down would be construed as racist.
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  #5  
Old 01-06-2010, 11:03 AM
BorgHunter BorgHunter is offline
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Wikipedia has a pretty good answer to this question. See this article, the History section.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:07 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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I presume you mean

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
This was commercialized for the first half of the 20th century by restaurants like Sambo's and Coon Chicken Inn, which selected exaggerated blacks as mascots, implying quality by their association with the stereotype.
Thanks.
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Old 01-06-2010, 11:14 AM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Even relatively recent American history is replete with images like this.
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  #8  
Old 01-06-2010, 11:50 AM
jayjay jayjay is offline
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It's sometimes hard for even younger Americans to understand just how prevalent certain racist depictions were, and how late. They were making Gator-Bait figurines and postcards into the 1970s. My mother had little Mammy and Pappy salt and pepper shakers in the kitchen in the 70s (though they dated to the previous decade). Aunt Jemima herself, until the late 80s, was a Mammy stereotype, and this was one of the (if not THE) most popular pancake mixes/syrups in the country.

The US is really not that far from a particularly nasty racial past as it wants to think.

ETA: And don't forget the Republican party operative who sent out the email with the picture of the White House surrounded by watermelon fields. In 200-frickin'-9!

Last edited by jayjay; 01-06-2010 at 11:51 AM..
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:39 PM
GrandWino GrandWino is offline
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I do media buying and a client I used to work with was a fried chicken chain (not one of the two big ones). Their demographic for advertising was African Americans and we were directed to purchase time in black-skewed programming (think most sitcoms on UPN).
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:59 PM
gonzomax gonzomax is offline
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Blacks as a generality eat a lot of chicken, ribs and fish. That is a description of their eating habits. It is not a critique.
Most kielbasa is eaten by Polish people. My Scotch ancestors eat tripe ,shoefly pie and Scotch Bridies. English people drink a lot of tea. So what.
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  #11  
Old 01-06-2010, 01:01 PM
shiftless shiftless is offline
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Well, if you grew up in the US during the 60s like I did then you would know - black people will do anything for fried chicken and/or watermelon. I am joking of course but this type of thing was a very common at one time and not really all that uncommon now. How is it that everybody in the US knows that jokes about black people and fried chicken are inappropriate unless they have encountered those jokes? It's fun to make fun of the foods others eat.

At work just the other day I was talking to a black woman while she microwaved her lunch. As she pulled her fried chicken and collard greens out of the oven she felt the need to give me a rueful grin and say: "I know, I'm a stereotype."
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:03 PM
LouisB LouisB is offline
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I'm from a long line of white trash and I'd love for a black/white/candy stripe person to hand me some fried chicken or watermelon or whatever was handy right now; I'm starving and its too damn cold to go out and buy food. (None of this is racist, by the way)
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  #13  
Old 01-06-2010, 01:25 PM
Fatsdominum Fatsdominum is offline
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Dave Chappelle explains:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJ4B7G8Rw3Q
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  #14  
Old 01-06-2010, 01:43 PM
dangermom dangermom is offline
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Originally Posted by shiftless View Post
How is it that everybody in the US knows that jokes about black people and fried chicken are inappropriate unless they have encountered those jokes? It's fun to make fun of the foods others eat.
Does "everybody in the US" know that? I can clearly remember the first time I heard of the stereotype; I was 25 and a woman on the radio was talking about her husband and his utter refusal to eat watermelon or fried chicken. I was totally confused. Luckily they explained it. I've heard references to such jokes since--like this thread--but I have never actually heard anyone make those jokes.
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Old 01-06-2010, 01:56 PM
Arkcon Arkcon is offline
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Originally Posted by dangermom View Post
Does "everybody in the US" know that? I can clearly remember the first time I heard of the stereotype; I was 25 and a woman on the radio was talking about her husband and his utter refusal to eat watermelon or fried chicken. I was totally confused. Luckily they explained it. I've heard references to such jokes since--like this thread--but I have never actually heard anyone make those jokes.

I think the best example was the Little Rascals, whenever chicken or watermellon were around, they were always offered first to Buckwheat, to his universal, wide-eyed joy. I don't know of any other overtly stereotypical portrayals in media, but I'm sure there are some other examples.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:04 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Originally Posted by Fatsdominum View Post
Another Chappelle skit related to that one.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:10 PM
MPB in Salt Lake MPB in Salt Lake is offline
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Originally Posted by dangermom View Post
Does "everybody in the US" know that? I can clearly remember the first time I heard of the stereotype; I was 25 and a woman on the radio was talking about her husband and his utter refusal to eat watermelon or fried chicken. I was totally confused. Luckily they explained it. I've heard references to such jokes since--like this thread--but I have never actually heard anyone make those jokes.
From reading your posts, I think we are somewhat close in age, and though I grew up in one of the least racially diverse major cities in the US (Salt Lake in the 1980's had almost no black minority to speak of) I remember seeing this particular stereotype in various movies and TV shows, including a MASH episode..............

It is pretty well known, even in areas without a large black population.

Last edited by MPB in Salt Lake; 01-06-2010 at 02:14 PM..
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:10 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Originally Posted by dangermom View Post
Does "everybody in the US" know that? I can clearly remember the first time I heard of the stereotype; I was 25 and a woman on the radio was talking about her husband and his utter refusal to eat watermelon or fried chicken. I was totally confused. Luckily they explained it. I've heard references to such jokes since--like this thread--but I have never actually heard anyone make those jokes.
Other common stereotypes (though perhaps not as pervasive as chicken & watermelon) would include fried catfish, chitterlings (chitlins), ribs, grape-flavored soda or "drink," maybe collard greens.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:12 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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Originally Posted by dangermom View Post
Does "everybody in the US" know that? I can clearly remember the first time I heard of the stereotype; I was 25 and a woman on the radio was talking about her husband and his utter refusal to eat watermelon or fried chicken. I was totally confused. Luckily they explained it. I've heard references to such jokes since--like this thread--but I have never actually heard anyone make those jokes.
Forgot about that whole thing with Fuzzy Zoeller when Tiger Woods won at the Masters?
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  #20  
Old 01-06-2010, 02:14 PM
typoink typoink is offline
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Originally Posted by gonzomax View Post
Blacks as a generality eat a lot of chicken, ribs and fish. That is a description of their eating habits. It is not a critique.
Most kielbasa is eaten by Polish people. My Scotch ancestors eat tripe ,shoefly pie and Scotch Bridies. English people drink a lot of tea. So what.
The problematic stereotype isn't "black people eat fried chicken," it's "black people can't get enough of dat chicken!"

The "fried chicken" concept is tied to perceptions of blacks as uncouth, poor, and animalistic in habit.

Saying "fried chicken is popular in black communities" shouldn't be controversial because it's true and a perfectly fine part of black cultural heritage. It IS, however, controversial because it cuts too close to the ugly, patronizing stereotypes that have really only faded out in the past few decades.

In related news, you're probably going to have trouble finding many sentences that start with "blacks as a generality..." that go over well.

Last edited by typoink; 01-06-2010 at 02:15 PM..
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  #21  
Old 01-06-2010, 02:19 PM
Hyperelastic Hyperelastic is offline
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How can it be racist to say that black people like fried chicken? Is there something bad about eating fried chicken that I don't know about? Does it make you mean or stupid? Is it against someone's religion?

The fat-lipped, bug-eyed depictions that used to be shown alongside fried chicken were racist, although on a racism scale where 10 is the KKK, they are about a 2 or a 3. That's why you don't see them, at least in public, anymore.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:24 PM
typoink typoink is offline
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How can it be racist to say that black people like fried chicken? Is there something bad about eating fried chicken that I don't know about? Does it make you mean or stupid? Is it against someone's religion?
It's the difference between "Many black people enjoy fried chicken" and "you're black; I'll bet you love fried chicken, don't you?"
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  #23  
Old 01-06-2010, 02:31 PM
Zsofia Zsofia is offline
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It doesn't help that fried chicken is a messy, greasy food with icky bones and such that you eat with your fingers.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:32 PM
yabob yabob is online now
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Originally Posted by Hyperelastic View Post
How can it be racist to say that black people like fried chicken? Is there something bad about eating fried chicken that I don't know about? Does it make you mean or stupid? Is it against someone's religion?

...
The stereotype originally stems from these things being food items that were really cheap and easy to produce, hence suitable to feed slaves, or let them raise on very small plots of their own. You also had things like chitlins, which were a by product of butchering out the pig to obtain the more desirable parts, and could be fed to the slaves. So it has an association as "slave food". Chickens are still raised in many parts of the world where resources are severely limited.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:45 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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It's the difference between "Many black people enjoy fried chicken" and "you're black; I'll bet you love fried chicken, don't you?"
My father made a similar mistake when I first invited a black friend over with a couple white guys to jam (musically) in the basement. I introduced my father to Marcus and my father, trying to make conversation, by the second or third sentence said something like "Do you know any good barbecue places?" Now, my father was born in Poland and, while aware of the stereotype that blacks are linked to barbecue and other soul food, did not realize that this can be construed as racist in an American context. He meant that completely innocently. If I invited a local Italian or German friend, he'd be just as likely to ask "know any good Italian/German restaurants," since he's interested in that sort of thing.

Unfortunately, my friend sort of got a deer-in-headlights look that said, "I cannot BELIEVE I've just been asked that question" and sort of shrugged it off, later telling me how fucked up it was that my father asked the question. But it sincerely was an innocent question on my father's part (and one that Marcus did actually know the answer to.)
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:50 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Originally Posted by Hyperelastic View Post
How can it be racist to say that black people like fried chicken?
It's racist to start just about any sentence with "Black people like..." People are all different, no matter what color their skin is. You'd never say "White people like kielbasa," or "White people like sushi." A lot of them do, but a lot of them don't as well.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:01 PM
JerseyFrank JerseyFrank is offline
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You'd never say "White people like kielbasa," or "White people like sushi." A lot of them do, but a lot of them don't as well.
You might be able to get away with a website or a book about it though.

BTW, sushi is #42.
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  #28  
Old 01-06-2010, 03:13 PM
BrandonR BrandonR is offline
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I don't buy into the stereotypes = racism argument, because one is a disdain for another race while the other is an observation usually based (at some point) on facts. Saying black people like fried chicken isn't racist, it's a stereotype. Sure, it's in poor taste for any company to exploit stereotypes (although I'm not sure even THAT was done in the KFC ad), but it's not automatically racist.

Related anecdote: my friend used to work at a movie theater concession stand and he would say whenever they saw a black person approaching they would automatically get a Hi-C ready, and almost every time it was needed. To say that certain ethnicities having certain food and drink preferences is automatically racist is pretty ignorant.
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:21 PM
Wheeljack Wheeljack is offline
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Originally Posted by Fear Itself View Post
Even relatively recent American history is replete with images like this.
Hey, I love that place!

Of course, now it's duck time, being an Asian grocery store...
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:23 PM
Rigamarole Rigamarole is offline
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It's racist to start just about any sentence with "Black people like..." People are all different, no matter what color their skin is. You'd never say "White people like kielbasa," or "White people like sushi." A lot of them do, but a lot of them don't as well.
Everyone knows white people like Wonderbread and mayonnaise!
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:25 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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To say that certain ethnicities having certain food and drink preferences is automatically racist is pretty ignorant.
To say that certain ethnicities have certain food preferences is pretty ignorant as well. Let's pick, for example, a black male. With no other data, tell me his food preferences. You can't, without making some rather large assumptions, because you don't know if he is a Masai, or Jamaican, or from Seattle, or Paris, that he is from a millionaire family or from the sticks of Mississippi. So any assumption as to food preferences is either borderline racist, or made on a strictly localized level based on experience with a particular community at a particular period in history.

Rigamarole - Well........yeah, ok. You got me on that one!

Last edited by silenus; 01-06-2010 at 03:26 PM..
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  #32  
Old 01-06-2010, 03:33 PM
raspberry hunter raspberry hunter is offline
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This is weird... growing up in NC (and certainly seeing my fair share of racism) I was under the impression that all right-thinking people, white, black, yellow, blue, or whatever, loved fried chicken, watermelon, and BBQ. (However, by BBQ I mean real NC pig-pickin' BBQ with vinegar-based sauce, not that rib tomato-based-sauce stuff you get in weird places like Texas.)

(I actually don't like watermelon, and boy, everyone thought that was weird!)
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:47 PM
Jackmannii Jackmannii is offline
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
I presume you mean
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
This was commercialized for the first half of the 20th century by restaurants like Sambo's and Coon Chicken Inn, which selected exaggerated blacks as mascots, implying quality by their association with the stereotype.
Sambo's was a fairly well-known chain; I had never heard of the other place. In any case, the stereotyping went way way way beyond a particular restaurant featuring fried chicken.

The business about fried chicken and watermelon picked up a racist connotation in part from the messiness and lack of sophistication associated with the foods, and partly from some people believing that blacks hardly ate anything else. It's just dumb to propagate the idea that someone will automatically delight in eating a particular food because of their ethnicity.

By the way, despite being an official White Person, I like fried chicken and watermelon, but you can't expect to get me to do something just by giving them to me. I require barbecue as well.
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Old 01-06-2010, 04:06 PM
ivn1188 ivn1188 is offline
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To say that certain ethnicities have certain food preferences is pretty ignorant as well. Let's pick, for example, a black male. With no other data, tell me his food preferences. You can't, without making some rather large assumptions, because you don't know if he is a Masai, or Jamaican, or from Seattle, or Paris, that he is from a millionaire family or from the sticks of Mississippi. So any assumption as to food preferences is either borderline racist, or made on a strictly localized level based on experience with a particular community at a particular period in history.
You've made the mistake of confusing race and ethinicity. Latinos can be black, white, or asian, or anything else. But people of latino ethnicity generally like the sorts of foods they have traditionally eaten. This is not some sort of crass generalization; it's a obvious and important result of the entire concept of ethnicity -- traditions and attitudes or even an entire culture handed down through the generations.

Black isn't an ethnicity, though in the United States it is much closer to being an ethnicity, because of shared culture through the media and historically. And one does not have to be of the black race to identify with the "black" ethnicity.

So you are right that a Parisian and a Watusi probably don't share a ton of food preferences (and are actually two different ethnicities), but I rarely run into Zulu tribesmen in the mall. Your idea of "without other data" is correct, but it's academic, given that we always have quite a bit of data, especially geographical and cultural data, and it's not ignorant to understand the general preferences of an ethnicity/culture and its members.

Last edited by ivn1188; 01-06-2010 at 04:09 PM..
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  #35  
Old 01-06-2010, 04:49 PM
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The OP doesn't ask whether the stereotype exists, but why the stereotype exists.

I think the stereotype was historically more prevalent in the Northern and Western US. (Because hell, in the South everybody loves fried chicken and watermelon.)

It probably dates from The Great Migration (1910 to 1930), a period during which large numbers of African Americans were migrating from the South to the North and West. They brought with them their Southern eating habits (like fried chicken and watermelon) which in the North came to be associated with black people. In the same way, what Southerners consider a "country cooking" or "meat-and-three" restaurant gets called "soul food" in the North and West because it is associated there with black people.

Last edited by Spoke; 01-06-2010 at 04:49 PM..
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  #36  
Old 01-06-2010, 05:08 PM
Harriet the Spry Harriet the Spry is offline
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I doubt that the U.S. is unique in having some tensions around stereotyping the foods commonly eaten by marginalized groups.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:11 PM
Fear Itself Fear Itself is offline
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Originally Posted by -spoke
It probably dates from The Great Migration (1910 to 1930), a period during which large numbers of African Americans were migrating from the South to the North and West. They brought with them their Southern eating habits (like fried chicken and watermelon) which in the North came to be associated with black people. In the same way, what Southerners consider a "country cooking" or "meat-and-three" restaurant gets called "soul food" in the North and West because it is associated there with black people.
i think that is pretty likely also, as if it were much earlier, chicken would probably have been a rare luxury for most black families. Chicken was rare enough even in white familes that "A chicken in every pot" was a campaign slogan of Herbert Hoover in 1928.

Last edited by Fear Itself; 01-06-2010 at 05:13 PM..
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  #38  
Old 01-06-2010, 05:13 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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It probably dates from The Great Migration (1910 to 1930), a period during which large numbers of African Americans were migrating from the South to the North and West. They brought with them their Southern eating habits (like fried chicken and watermelon) which in the North came to be associated with black people.
I don't understand. Wouldn't it have existed beforehand, transmitted via white southerners?

Oh, and FTR, I'm white and love melon and watermelon. Not so hot on fried chicken - but then I try and avoid chicken anyway.

BTW I once had fried frog's leg and it tasted exactly like fried chicken.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:17 PM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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I don't understand. Wouldn't it have existed beforehand, transmitted via white southerners.
No, because white Southerners were eating fried chicken and watermelon too. So black people eating fried chicken and watermelon wouldn't have set them apart in the South, and wouldn't have been a basis for a stereotype here in that era. (Or maybe I don't understand your question.)

Last edited by Spoke; 01-06-2010 at 05:19 PM..
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  #40  
Old 01-06-2010, 05:27 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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No, because white Southerners were eating fried chicken and watermelon too. So black people eating fried chicken and watermelon wouldn't have set them apart in the South, and wouldn't have been a basis for a stereotype here in that era. (Or maybe I don't understand your question.)
Yes, you've misunderstood me. Presumably northern whites had plenty of exposure to southern whites in the Civil War and WW1. And presumably southern whites travelled to the north and west anyway, taking their culinary proclivities with them. So I'm failing to see why fried chicken and watermelon is seen as a 'black thing' rather than a 'southern thing'.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:34 PM
Spoke Spoke is offline
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Yes, you've misunderstood me. Presumably northern whites had plenty of exposure to southern whites in the Civil War and WW1. And presumably southern whites travelled to the north and west anyway, taking their culinary proclivities with them. So I'm failing to see why fried chicken and watermelon is seen as a 'black thing' rather than a 'southern thing'.
OK, now I get you. And the answer is that in those days (1910-1930) northerners wouldn't have been exposed to southerners very much, certainly not on a day-to-day basis. (And of course there were no mass media until radio came along.)

So when the Great Migration happened, a lot of northerners were getting exposed to southern eating habits for the first time, and since the people migrating were black, those eating habits came to be associated with black people. (At least that's my theory, which I think is pretty sound.)

White southerners did later migrate north in larger numbers to work in the factories there, but I think by then the stereotype was already affixed to black people.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:39 PM
Nars Glinley Nars Glinley is offline
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(However, by BBQ I mean real NC pig-pickin' BBQ with vinegar-based sauce, not that rib tomato-based-sauce stuff you get in weird places like Texas.)
I guess it's pistols at dawn.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:44 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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(However, by BBQ I mean real NC pig-pickin' BBQ with vinegar-based sauce, not that rib tomato-based-sauce stuff you get in weird places like Texas.)
I'm with you, but doesn't western NC (Lexington) also have a tomato-based sauce? I do barbecue several times a year (pork shoulder/butt), and usually have three sauces, one vinegar-based, a similar one with tomato/ketchup, and a mustard-based (South Carolina) sauce. Unsurprisingly, here in the Midwest, the tomato-based one is most popular, second is mustard (about half as popular as the tomato), and a distant third is the vinegar-based finishing sauce (I'm pretty much the only one who likes that one).
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:45 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Coincidence of mass migration and mass media, huh?

Colour ignorance fought!
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:46 PM
Argent Towers Argent Towers is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
My father made a similar mistake when I first invited a black friend over with a couple white guys to jam (musically) in the basement. I introduced my father to Marcus and my father, trying to make conversation, by the second or third sentence said something like "Do you know any good barbecue places?" Now, my father was born in Poland and, while aware of the stereotype that blacks are linked to barbecue and other soul food, did not realize that this can be construed as racist in an American context. He meant that completely innocently. If I invited a local Italian or German friend, he'd be just as likely to ask "know any good Italian/German restaurants," since he's interested in that sort of thing.

Unfortunately, my friend sort of got a deer-in-headlights look that said, "I cannot BELIEVE I've just been asked that question" and sort of shrugged it off, later telling me how fucked up it was that my father asked the question. But it sincerely was an innocent question on my father's part (and one that Marcus did actually know the answer to.)
It's bullshit for someone to be offended by something like this. If I met a Jewish guy in a city (and I knew he was Jewish), I would definitely ask him if there were any good Jewish delis. If I met a Chinese person I would ask where the best Chinese place is. Your father's question was just an honest question and to get worked up about it is absurd, and the fact that our society gets so worked up about this stuff shows how insane people are about perceived racism.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:53 PM
Troy McClure SF Troy McClure SF is offline
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Originally Posted by Argent Towers View Post
It's bullshit for someone to be offended by something like this. If I met a Jewish guy in a city (and I knew he was Jewish), I would definitely ask him if there were any good Jewish delis. If I met a Chinese person I would ask where the best Chinese place is. Your father's question was just an honest question and to get worked up about it is absurd, and the fact that our society gets so worked up about this stuff shows how insane people are about perceived racism.
Agreed. On Seinfeld, Jerry is looking for a good Chinese place in the area, and he asks the mailman, because he'd obviously know where one would be. The mailman stands up, and, being Chinese, yells at Jerry for being racist. Which one is being racist there?

If I asked a [___] person where the best [____] food was and they got pissed, I'd probably tell them I asked them because they're human and near me, and then not talk to them again.
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Old 01-06-2010, 05:56 PM
samclem samclem is offline
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
I'm with you, but doesn't western NC (Lexington) also have a tomato-based sauce?
Yep. Once you get west of Raleigh/Durham, you get tomato based sauces. East is just vinegar based.
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  #48  
Old 01-06-2010, 05:58 PM
aerodave aerodave is offline
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The first Chappelle clip reminds me of a personal anecdote, which itself is an opportunity to add another black American sterotype to the mix: menthol cigarettes.

In the late 90s, I was working in a convenience store. We had plenty of regular customers, and I took pride in recognizing them and knowing what they wanted without them having to ask. This worked especially well for cigarettes, because those were something I could access from behind the counter. One of my regulars, a black man, came in most days and got a pack of Newports. (Newports are a brand of menthol cigarette, and menthol cigarettes are known for being more popular with black smokers.)

One day, I thought I saw him entering the store, and I reached for his usual pack of Newports and put them on the counter before he could even ask for them. He always seemed to appreciate it, with comments like "You know me well." Only this time, it was someone else...Mr. Newport's spitting image. (And no, this isn't a case of some cracker thinking black people all look alike. This guy looked incredibly similar.) He had me fooled until he made it halfway between the door and the counter, and then I realized my mistake. Before I could even think to start putting the cigarettes back, he shouts as he approaches the counter, "What the fuck, man? You think just because you see a black man walk in here, he wants menthols? Might as well get out the malt liquor while you're at it!"

I stood there, embarrassed and speechless for a moment, not unlike a deer in headlights. Finally, I spit out the only explanation I had...the truth. "I'm sorry, I thought you were someone else." Only after the words left my lips did I realize that those words wouldn't smooth things over.

"Yeah, we all look the same to you, huh?"

I apologized again and asked what I could get for him. Without changing his disgusted tone, and thereby showing that he did not sense the irony of his request, he said, "Give me a pack of Kools."

He took his cigarettes and change and left without saying another word. I'm just glad my embarrassment didn't give way to laughter until after he got out the door.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:33 PM
Johnny Angel Johnny Angel is offline
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Originally Posted by JerseyFrank View Post
You might be able to get away with a website or a book about it though.
My first thought upon viewing that post on Ray-Ban Wayfarers was "You fools! You're only hastening the return of aviator sunglasses!" They've doomed us all.
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  #50  
Old 01-06-2010, 06:33 PM
YogSosoth YogSosoth is offline
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How is it harmful to say black people like fried chicken or watermelon? Some stereotypes are bad, but saying a group of people like a particular food, a popular one at that, doesn't seem harmful to me. I should be able to make jokes about blacks and fried chicken without reprocussion because it's not a negative stereotype
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