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Black History Month menus are a celebration, not an insult

Your article “Menus for Black History Month stir complaints” (Metro, March 2) left me confused about the complaints voiced by several students and a black college professor, and the suggestion that serving certain foods at this time of year shows “racial insensitivity and ignorance.”

I am an African-American who grew up in the South, and the foods mentioned, such as fried chicken and collard greens, were a staple in our household. We looked forward to eating them, and celebrated them as a part of our culture. They were foods that my daughter, who attended a predominantly white university, found delight in eating during her visits home. These foods are still served during holidays, backyard barbecues, and many other social events.

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During Black History Month we celebrate our past and acknowledge our history. Collards, grits, and chitterlings are part of that history, and, rather than bringing about shame, they should be used in educating all people of their importance to the African-American community, as matzo ball soup is to the Jewish community and jerk chicken is to the Jamaican community.

I commend the chef at one university who embraced his heritage and prepared a meal he loved “straight from the heart.”

J. Kimble


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