IKEA Juneteenth Menu With Fried Chicken And Watermelon Sparks Outrage
Furniture giant IKEA has been blasted with criticism after allegedly listing fried chicken and watermelon as menu items for its workers in celebration of Juneteenth.
Employees at one of IKEA’s Atlanta stores received an email last week letting them know that “to honor the perseverance of Black Americans and acknowledge the progress yet to be made” it was also going to introduce a special menu.
The menu included fried chicken, watermelon, and mac n’ cheese, which, as many people know, could be seen as perpetuating racial stereotypes.
A worker, who wished to keep their anonymity, told CBS46 the following:
“You cannot say serving watermelon on Juneteenth is a soul food menu when you don’t even know the history, they used to feed slaves watermelon during the slave time.”
This resulted in 33 workers refusing to show up for work.
Eventually, the store manager also got wind of what was going on and sent out another internal email with an apology. The menu was eventually changed and it now includes cornbread, mashed potatoes, and meatloaf.
someone thought this was a good idea to do… on juneteenth… in atlanta.https://t.co/wCsWww3PfW
— Monica Rix (@MonicaRix) June 22, 2021
One of the employees reportedly said none of the colleagues who were involved in the creation of the menu was Black, but an IKEA spokesperson disputed that saying there were Black workers involved, but they did not go into more detail about it.
The spokesperson added:
“We value our co-workers’ voices and changed the menu after receiving feedback that the foods that were selected are not reflective of the deeply meaningful traditional foods historically served as part of Juneteenth celebrations. We got it wrong and we sincerely apologize.”
Juneteenth was recently signed into law as an official holiday by President Joe Biden.
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