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DrJays.com Debate: Fried chicken and the stereotypes attached

Submitted by on July 6, 2009 – 5:16 pm10 Comments


Today, July 6th, has become known as National Fried Chicken Day!

As appealing as the topic of this guilty pleasure food is, we want to delve deeper and discuss the stereotypes associated with fried chicken and African-Americans.

If you’re unaware about where the correlation originated, the short story is that slaves were allowed to keep, fry and eat chickens and not other (more expensive) meats (See Wikipedia.org for more information).

As the years progressed, fried chicken continued to grow in popularity, and has become known as an African-American food specialty and commonly known as Southern fried chicken because of the style of cooking.

You may have seen the mess that occurred with Popeye’s recent free chicken offer:

Now KFC launched a new campaign titled “Unthink”. Check out what RaceWire.org had to say about it:

“There’s something troubling about an “unthinking” campaign in which a black woman is the spokesperson for providing hundreds of people with grilled chicken. This collaboration has simply given media the opportunity to reinforce racist stereotypes, which has already happened enough if you caught the footage of protesters during Popeye’s free chicken offer. The deal opens up more space for racist joking – do we really need more of that?”

Do you get offended when marketers obviously use stereotypes to sell products?

Check out this song that hip hop stars Nas and Busta Rhymes came out with last year, called “Fried Chicken”. The song pays a provocative tribute to delicious fried chicken and ends with these lyrics:

Ain’t that some sh*t
I’m a eat some sh*t until what I’m eating kills me
And I choose to do that, why?
‘Cause that’s just what ni**az do

Please share your thoughts!

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  • rwr. says:

    Who cares. Fried Chicken is delicious with some hot sause yummy!! I’m not going to stop eating a certain food or turn vegetarioan just because of what someone else says

  • Chris J The Genius says:

    I KNEW when I saw the topic that Nas’s song would be featured on this! It immediately popped into my head. We simply have to be more conscious of the things that we’re eating and stop gladly, ignorantly, and blissfully accepting our stereotypes and playing right into the hands of those who would exploit them. It’s time to take more responsibility and demand a higher standard for and from ourselves.

  • Personally I’ve been on a beef and steak kick. I’m tired of chicken. Personally I hate the stereotype of it but that’s not why I don’t eat it. I watch what I eat now. I agree with chris though we got to stop doing being so damn ignorant and playing into their hands. If they out of chicken, go home… cook. It just kills me that these fools are trading a few seconds of face time to set us back years at a time. I’m not saying act like carlton or bryant gumble I’m saying think.

    Here’s the thing that gets me is other nationalities love chicken but we get the damn stereotype. I know asians and latinos and other races who eat more chicken than I ever will, it’s part of our culture but we get shit (yeah I’m mixed, sorry if you got confused) . People also forget that it’s a cultural regional thing too. For instance it’s a southern thing too do fried foods.

    I remember one day I got shit about watermelon and I brought up the fact that koreans and chinese love watermelon just as much as black people. Because it gets really hot there and it’s a great way to hydrate. I brought up homies and coworkers as reference. It was amazing how fast people stfu.

  • jbeezy says:

    Silly……… I love fried chicken, baked chicken, bbq chicken, beer can chicken, chicken wings, chicken fingers, chicken eggs, chicken salad. Chicken is damn good no matter what race you are! Watermelon too! Steaks, noodles, vegi dishes, fish, sushi, pork…… All tasty.

  • MissZindzi says:

    Let’s be real; another reason people associate chicken with Black people is that we make it the best.

  • Da'ja says:

    I agree with you Jbeezy…it all taste good to me.
    I don’t think I’ll ever stop eating chicken to be honest.

  • Kwaping says:

    To be honest, I didn’t know about that stereotype until I read it here. Maybe there’s a lesson in that…

  • huh? says:

    Man even chinese people really like fried chicken too. As a matter of fact a lot of different people/ethnicities like fried chicken; maybe not as much as black people but they do. It ain’t that serious.

  • Baclava says:

    stereotypes ain’t never stop me from likin what i like but it is kinda messed up how they make it seem like black people are the only people that like fried chicken. Shit look at some chinese foods. Some how some way they manage to fry everything on the menu and everybody loves eating that sh*t too.

  • Dee says:

    Im not African-American…N i love fried chickenn…lmao

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