Elaine Hall, from the Archives Department at the King Center in Atlanta, has informed the committee that Dr. King’s favorite meal includes fried chicken, collard greens, cornbread, and sweet potato pie
But that menu is too “stereotypical” for some parents in Denver public schools, where that (biscuit instead of cornbread, and minus the pie) was to be served for lunch Friday in honor of Dr. King, before the district backtracked in a flurry of apologies. Apparently we aren’t supposed to honor the man by eating what he liked to eat.
“When you reduce it to the ‘I have a dream’’speech and a fried chicken and collared green lunch, you have just destroyed everything that Dr. King stood for,”said Vern Howard, Chair of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission.
Who collared them greens anyway? And yes, it probably mostly is reduced to “I have a dream”, because we’re still waiting to be allowed to judge on the content of character, instead of giving character a pass based on the color of skin. I doubt anyone is having any real discussion on race today…certainly not those of us staying home. Let’s face it, MLK Day does as much for race relations as Labor Day does for trade unionism.
Chereka Dickerson, who helps run the soul food restaurant Welton Street Café said the criticisms were over-the-top. “If that’s the food that’s really associated with black people in America, why not celebrate it instead of trying to make everything negative?” she said.
And how many kids won’t eat chicken and biscuits? Yeah, the collard greens might be a hard sell. But it’s all a lot easier than chitterlings. Southern cooking is great primarily because of black people, who were at one time the ones doing all the cooking. Maybe they just should have served burgers and fries, and said it was in honor of America’s first black president, Bill Clinton.