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Black History Month, a tradition started in 1970 by the leaders of the Black United Students at Kent State University, has been taking a lashing in recent years. Popular picture sharing Apps like Instagram have allowed imprudent participants to disrespect instead of laud the legacy of black people who have contributed positively to society.
Just search the tag #BlackHistoryMonth on Instagram, and you’ll find a mix of truly reverential images and pure tomfoolery.
Whether or not you find them amusing, all are disrespectful. Reformation Producer Elana Rosenblatt (@lani_pants) thought she could partake in the poking fun with a picture of her and a friend eating fried chicken with the caption, “Happy Black History Month.”
Face palm. Tyler McCall, who first reported on the disturbing image for Fashionista.com wrote, “It doesn’t take a lot to explain why this is so deeply offensive — the idea that black people eat nothing but fried chicken has long been a stereotype that has dogged the community.” Indeed. One of the first popular images of a shiftless, lazy Negro eating fried chicken debuted in D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation in 1915.
According to Gene Demby of NPR, the scene in question was supposed to depict what would happen to American Government should blacks be allowed to vote (guess they couldn’t foresee President Barack Obama). Elected officials are shown acting crudely with bare feet placed on desks, eating chicken. Of course they’re not actual black men, but rather white actors in black face…another popular practice for members of the fashion industry.
At any rate, Rosenblatt was peer pressured into taking the image down, but not before a follower took a screenshot.
Expect a tepid apology to be issued soon.
At any rate, what do you think of the latest incident of racism in fashion?
See more on Fashionista.com.
*Update: Seems like they took the post down.
*Update: We’ve been asked to take the post down. Apparently Elana was attending a Black History Month party (?) at a friend’s house and the caption was, “taken out of context.” We have a large black readership on this site. Have you ever been to a Black History Month party? Where they serve fried chicken? Nice try.
*Reformation boutique is located on Melrose in LA, and also has an e-store here.