UPDATE (2/21/14 5:17pm) A rep from Bollare (a communications and style firm) reached out to me and said the following (as if that makes it better):
Elana was at a party at an African American friend’s house to celebrate Black History Month and the caption was written to reflect that. The post was removed as soon as Elana realized it might cause offense.
Elana Rosenblatt, a producer of Reformation (an environmentally sustainable fashion brand that repurposes vintage and surplus materials to create a chic, limited edition collection) decided to post a photo of herself with a friend eating fried chicken, with the caption, “Happy Black History Month!!” SMH. Rosenblatt has since deleted her post, after receiving heavy backlash labeling her a racist. Rosenblatt more than likely didn’t even think twice before hitting “Share” on Instagram. Had she, she probably wouldn’t have posted the offensive snapshot.
Black History Month is a beautiful tradition that began in 1970 by the Black United Students at Kent State University, after deciding that its precursor, Black History Week (1926), needed to be expanded. Over recent years, I’ve watched in horror as the one month we have dedicated to celebrate our rich history, becomes the butt of many jokes shared on social media and beyond. Seriously–go look up #BlackHistoryMonth on Instagram and Twitter, you’ll find a lot of amazing inspiration Black folk from our pasts, but you will also find offensive memes that are meant to make you giggle.
Rosenblatt thought that her fried chicken satire would be a good way to celebrate Black History Month. It doesn’t take a genius to pinpoint the errors in her post. The stereotype of Black people only eating chicken is one that has been joked about for decades and obviously shows no signs of coming to a stop anytime soon. We live in a country where schools can offer fried chicken, watermelon and cornbread to their students to “celebrate” Black History Month and think that it was a good idea. When are people going to stop glorifying gross stereotypes (like Blacks and fried chicken) and confusing degradation as celebration?
What do you think about Rosenblatt’s post? Sound off in the comments below.
Check Out This Gallery Of Black History You Should Know: