Yesterday, BBC Newsbeat received much backlash — or should we same Black-lash — after promoting a video segment about Black people and fried chicken.
In the video, the channel asked English citizens to speak on the myth or reality surrounding the “Black people love fried chicken” stereotype. Not only does the clip ignorantly attempt to unpack a stereotype that’s been around for decades, but it also makes the mistake of using more white people than Black people.
OK, BBC, let us do you a favor and speak to this stereotype without mentioning how “chicken makes your bum bigger.”
The first negative imagery of Black people eating chicken was in the 1915 KKK propaganda film Birth of a Nation. In the film, there is a famous scene in which a fictional Black government worker devours fried chicken like an animal while Black congressmen pass a vote forcing white people to salute Black soldiers — this was considered satire.
After the film, racist postcards and cartoons depicted items such as “coon chicken” and other derogatory images.
So this stereotype of Black people and fried chicken is not something to be laughed about and mocked from the point of view of white Europeans.
And people on Twitter agree.
It appears the segment itself is not attempting to perpetuate any racist stereotypes. However, when you have Black people sitting in front of a collage of fried chicken while talking about fried chicken, you aren't too far from those images seen in the racist propaganda of the past.
(Photo: Donna Alberico/Getty Images)