The dining halls at my university thought that it would be great to commemorate Black History Month with a special theme dinner. They do this occasionally, like they have special dinners for around Thanksgiving and Christmas.
But tonight they served collard greens, mac & cheese, cornbread, and grape Kool-Aid. And specifically called it the “Black History Month dinner”.
Is it just me, or does this seem somewhat …racially insensitive? This food sounds more “Southern” to me than “black”. But being neither Southern nor black, I guess I can’t really say for sure.
I don’t know what else they could do really. I can’t really think of a whole lot of other foods that would apply to all black populations across the nation. I’m sure that people would have really been offended if they served watermelon, fried chicken, and chitlens. They could have included BBQ I suppose. The foods you listed are typical Southenr Black foods but a lot of black culture originated in the South and those dishes aren’t confined to the reason.
They could have chosen not to have one at all I suppose. However, they wanted to and I think that any somewhat accurate menu they came up with would be offensive to you.
The Black Law Student Society at my school just commemorated the end of Black History Month with pretty much the same menu. There was no kool-aid as we get free drinks from the school-but it was fried chicken, greens, black-eyed peas, cornbread…loads of other stuff. They dubbed it a “soul food” dinner. There was some excellent rice.
Last week the Latin Student Society put on a dinner featuring tacos etc. etc.
The Asian Club (in reality, the Desi Club) holds Samosa Drives in the halls.
These are lawstudents. The most easily offended and argumentative type of people on the face of the planet :). I guess we’re all just eager to perpetuate stereotypes.
For the Record, I am Desi, the originator of the Samosa Drive on the part of the Asian embryo-lawyers, not at all offended at the idea of being offered tons of cheap food along with free alcohol and soda and stressing the point that in fact it is the members of the specific, actual ethnic clubs at school that sell soul food/tacos/samosas in order to raise money. I hope that’s evident if that last post was directed at me (from Shagnasty). The rest of my ethnic food chowing lawschool seems to agree as said dinners have been going on as long as I have been here.
Southern food and soul food are practically synoymous. The grape Kool-Aid is a nice touch, but I don’t see any mention of black-eye peas, dirty rice, candied yams or banana wafer pudding for dessert; the meal as described could be Southern, could go either way. Especially if the greens were chopped up: that’s a “southern white” thing. And what? No hot sauce?
So tell me: how high up on the hog were y’all eating? If you ate chops, loins, rump roast or ham, that’s more of a Southern meal. If you had salt pork, ribs, tails, neckbones or chitlins’, and washed it down with sour milk, y’all was eatin’ a old timey black dinner.
anu-la1979. Ethnic foods don’t perpetuate stereotypes. They bridge cultures.
It’s supposed to be the Pan-Asian club but something like 70% of it hails from various parts of the Indian sub-continent (Desi) as the S. Asian population at my school has just exploded within the last two years. Prior to this the Asian club was very small and then all of a sudden, starting in my year, it seems tons of S. Asians decided that we were going to take over law as well as medicine. I came here with such high expectations of being the special Indian. How my hopes were dashed. Oh well, I still hold claim-to-fame for the Samosa drives.
No, that comment was not directed at anyone in particular. I was just fondly remembering my own college days and remembering the students and professors whose major purpose seemed as the permanent offendees and then serve over the minority group of the day to protect them from harm much like a parent does to a toddler.
Lots of Indians (mostly Hindu) refer to India as “Bharat.”
The majority of the South Asians here are Indian-however, we also have Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, part-Nepalis, half-Malaysians, Sri Lankans (about 1 each after Pakistan). Desi means “coming from Desh” and “Desh” means homeland. It’s sort of a generic term we bandy about so as not to label everyone with the term Indian as people who are Pakistani are not from the sovereign nation “India.” When I am with Indians, I use the word Indians. When I am with a mixed group of South Asians or talking about a club I belong to that has people from various parts of South Asia, I use “Desi” because they don’t like being referred to as hailing from a country they don’t…hail from. I hope that clears it up.
I’m not black but I grew up in a 50% black town in rural Louisiana and I was partly raised by my black nanny. There is a pretty strong cultural divsion on the drinks. The white folks drank colas and tea etc. Black people drank fruity drinks whether it was Kool-Aid or one of the many fruit sodas like Welches. I worked in a grocery store and one week we had some kind of super sale on fruity soft drinks. I was helping black families to load cases of that stuff into the back of their cars.