Hopewell valley makes news over high school lunch menu (op-ed) _ mercerme. com

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There are a lot of opinions about the menu served at Central High School (CHS) on February 16 th and just as many about the Superintendent’s reaction. Best food restaurants Those sick of the attention the [Hopewell Valley Regional School] District is getting over what they see as a non-issue want the conversation to stop. Local food restaurants Sorry, not just yet.

On February 16 th , the District’s food service provider, Pomptonian, served a soul food menu “in celebration of Black History Month,” according to the five flyers posted in the upper cafeteria. Top 5 fast food restaurants The menu consisted of fried chicken, sweet potato casserole, sauteed spinach, macaroni and cheese, cornbread, and peach or apple crisp. Food and restaurants near me Despite what NJ.com reported on February 20 th , Pomptonian acknowledged that the administrators, including the high school principal, were unaware of the menu. Restaurants food near me In a letter to the superintendent on February 22 nd , the food service company said it “would like to apologize for our recent menu promotion that brought so much unwanted attention to your community. Restaurants near me fast food We deeply regret the entree selection for Black History Month could be viewed as insensitive and inappropriate.”

One of the students that was offended by the menu tweeted a picture of the menu and it began to spread across social media. Find fast food restaurants By 1p.m., Superintendent Dr. Best food restaurants near me Tom Smith sent out an email to CHS parents stating, “ The decision to include these items without any context or explanation, reinforces racial stereotypes and is not consistent with our district mission and efforts to improve cultural competency among our students and staff.”

If given the opportunity, Dr. New fast food restaurants Smith said, the district would have been happy to work with Pomptonian on an appropriate menu to honor the month while also educating students about the food’s history. Chain food restaurants In fact, for the past two years, eighth grade students at Timberlane Middle School have listened to speakers discuss African American history in Hopewell Valley and sampled a similar menu, though with baked and barbecued chicken, after learning the historical context of the food.

If the kitchen had served anything other than fried chicken (i.e. Fast food restaurants in the area barbequed chicken, smothered pork chop, or fried fish) as the meat, the day might of passed by unnoticed. Nearby food restaurants I didn’t believe for one minute that Pomptonian meant to offend anyone at the high school, but I grew up aware of the negative stereotype that could be flung at will towards African Americans, and cringed at the menu. Food restaurants nearby The optics felt bad. Fast food restaurants in this area For one thing, the high school has a mostly white student body.

Yes, fried chicken is absolutely part of African American culture, and many others… well, not the vegetarians… but serving it specifically in honor of Black History Month felt disrespectful to African Americans. Fast food chain restaurants Except, I wondered how it could be disrespectful if sold in soul food restaurants across the U.S. Open food restaurants near me and served in many African American households? My head hurt trying to sort this out.

The term “soul food” refers to food of the deep south (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi) that was cooked by African Americans and moved with them during the Great Migration (1916-1970) to the North, Midwest, and West. Fast food restaurants open A typical menu would include a meat (smothered or fried chicken, smothered pork chop, pigs feet, oxtails, chitlins, ham hocks, pork necks, or fried fish), greens (cabbage, collards, mustard, turnip, and kale), a starchy vegetable (black eyed peas, sweet potatoes, red beans), and a starch (macaroni and cheese, biscuit, cornbread, rice). Food restaurants near my location Much of the meat cooked is traditionally the “leftover” cuts (i.e. Food restaurants around me pigs feet) as was provided by slave masters to their African slaves. Most popular fast food restaurants Much like foods of any other culture soul food is a source of pride and comfort. Food chain restaurants It is a food that tells the story of their survival from slavery and the oppressive Jim Crow south.

According to Claire Schmidt, University of Missouri Professor of Race and Folklore, the 1915 silent film Birth of a Nation, is to blame for starting the racial stereotype. Junk food restaurants The movie told a cautionary tale of what happens when African Americans are given too many rights and served as an effective recruiting tool for the Klu Klux Klan. Restaurants and food In one scene, newly elected South Carolinian black legislators were portrayed as wild, uneducated drunks as they made laws and ate fried chicken. Food near me restaurants The negative association of African Americans and chicken stuck.

Despite the fact that the film is over one hundred years old, and that lots of Americans eat fried chicken, the negative association remains and is used as a weapon periodically by white people. Fast food and restaurants In 2013, when golfer, Sergio Garcia, asked if he would have rival Tiger Woods over to dinner during the course of the then upcoming U.S. Restaurants american food Open, Garcia stated, “We’ll have him ’round every night. American food restaurants We will serve fried chicken.” Woods said, “The comment that was made wasn’t silly. Worst fast food restaurants It was wrong, hurtful and clearly inappropriate. Fast food restaurants usa I’m confident that there is real regret that the remark was made.”

For Dr. Restaurants and fast food Smith, publicly acknowledging the menu’s racial insensitivity was necessary and in line with increasing the District’s cultural competency. Most fast food restaurants He doesn’t want students and staff to merely tolerate diversity, he wants them to embrace it and seek out opportunities for meaningful relationships. Fast food restaurants in america He wants to build more empathy in his students so they see others in themselves. Top fast food restaurants 2016 In his viewpoint, serving a menu that lacked context, could potentially perpetuate a racial stereotype which works against the district’s mission.

Over the years, as shootings of black men, teens, and kids erupted in the news, Dr. Fast food restaurants in my area Smith continued to expect some kind of reaction here in Hopewell Valley. What fast food restaurants are open To his dismay, there was none. Famous fast food restaurants Dr. Best fast food restaurants in the world Smith and Lisa Wolff, President of the Board of Education, theorize in their article entitled One District’s Willingness to Start a Conversation (to be published in the April issue of School Leader magazine) that it’s because of “disinterest stemmed from students who could not connect or relate their life experiences with a Ferguson teenager’s circumstances.”

The Board of Education determined that “in addition to our academic mission, we shoulder a responsibility to develop cultural competency in our students and staff.” To this end, Dr. Top 10 worst fast food restaurants Smith launched discussions among students, staff members, and the community, tackling such issues as race, class, and gender, topics normally shied away from in schools.

Then, in February 2016, Dr. How many fast food restaurants in the us Smith helped bring discussions countywide. How many fast food restaurants in america As one of the lead organizers of Day of Dialogue: A Journey Into Race, Class, and Gender in our Schools held at Rider University, Dr. Cheap fast food restaurants near me Smith encouraged ethnically and racially diverse students (10 students from each Mercer County high school) to listen to each other’s stories and attempt to walk in each other’s shoes. Close fast food restaurants near me The hope was that the students would learn more about empathy, bring back what they learned, and share it with their larger school community.

Most recently, in November 2016, he started the Culture and Character Committee, composed of students, staff and parents. Closest fast food restaurants near me One of the committee’s goals is to establish grade-level expectations for the district’s character education programs.

Since the menu, tweet, and resulting email made news, a lot of conversations have taken place over the radio, between friends, over social media, dinner tables, and between participants of Hopewell Valley’s Race and Diversity Discussion group. All fast food restaurants near me All CHS history classes have discussed the racial stereotype associated with fried chicken. Local fast food restaurants near me For some, what started out a discussion about food, became a conversation about racial stereotypes, which of course leads to broader discussions about race. Best fast food restaurants near me With the district’s mission in mind, this is probably not such a bad thing.

Angela Jacobs resides in Hopewell Township with her husband, teenaged children, dog of unknown parentage, and three birds. Healthy fast food restaurants near me When she is not busy writing for MercerMe, she is working for Pentimento Magazine, a disability-themed literary magazine, hiking local trails, or hopefully, using her new paddle board.

As an American of Italian heritage should I object to school lunches of Pasta and Pizza and other foods associated with Italians? To me that would be “political correctness” and “sensitivity training” taken to its fullest extent of silliness.

The description of the meal served by Pomptonian sounds absolutely delicious and most appropriate as a recognition of Black History Month. Top 10 fast food restaurants in the world We travel to Atlantic City to Kelsey & Kim’s Cafe for the exact meal described. Chinese food restaurants near my location Perhaps if our restaurants served such meals in and around this area, our youth would better understand cultural differences in foods.

Two things. Exotic food restaurants near me 1) Pasta originated in China. Food restaurants 2) Chicken is not mutually exclusive with Black people. Fast food and restaurants near me I’m Black and I don’t eat chicken – fried or otherwise. Fast food restaurants near me open now Maybe a field trip the the Smithsonian in DC? Too expensive? How about honoring famous black people throughout history? The intentions are irrelevant; the idea is extremely offensive and devoid of any actual thought. Fast food restaurants near me open 24 hours About the last sentence, Maryann J. Fast food restaurants near me now Perkins, what would you consider listed on the menu to be attributed to the Black culture as a whole?

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