Life is real with a side of funny.
Starring: Rolls-Royce Ghost & McLaren MP4-12C
So once again in the supposed “professional world,” a white person made the “you know black people eat a lot of fried chicken” comment. This was after the topic of fried chicken came up as an option for lunch and I stated that I don’t really eat much fried chicken. Though offended by the comment, I didn’t get angry, I got angrily curious. Where THE FUCK do people get this nonsense from? Even some black people believe this. Do blacks really eat THAT MUCH fried chicken?
I think not! Especially after growing up in a black household, black neighborhoods, black churches, black public schools, and a predominantly black southern city (Atlanta). I didn’t grow up eating an excessive amount of fried chicken nor do I recall the black people around me doing so. My family ate a good variety of things as many American do. Throughout life it has become very apparent to me that damn near ever culture eats some form of fried chicken and in some pretty substantial amounts. So why then has this stereotype been given to the black community? I decided to research the “history of black people’s love of fried chicken.”
The most common thought is that this stereotype stems from slavery of course. Chicken is cheap and was one of the few livestock that African American slaves were allowed to keep in and/or around their tiny living quarters. Even I can believe this theory. Sound legit right? Wrong! People, even myself, fail to realize that “chicken IS cheap” now-a-days. After doing a little research, turns out that chicken did not become cheap until after WWII when we figured out how to mass produce them. So prior to this, chicken was almost like steak even to many whites. Therefore the notion that blacks have been excessively loving chicken, of any kind, since the days of slavery, because it was cheap and highly available, is out.
Through my internet research, I found that blacks love (or don’t love) fried chicken just the same as everyone else. It was also pointed out to me that if blacks loved chicken as much as the stereotype has you believe, then businesses like KFC would be heavily dependent on the black community (about 13% if the U.S. population) for its success. This is simply unrealistic. This made me remember that MSNBC, I believe it was, stated in the not so distant pass that KFC was outpacing McDonald’s in popularity in some Asian countries. When I went to Japan, they had KFC delivery. Damn son, it’s serious out there! Hey EVERYONE loves friend chicken. From what I could tell through my Google searches, the type of crispy fried chicken that we associate with blacks/black slaves (Southern Fried Chicken) actually is said to have come from the Scottish and that blacks’ contribution to this, due to cooking for slave masters etc., is likely seasoning/flavor of our “culinary heritage” and liking. Anyhow, there are several theories about how this stereotype came about. Most of them are associated with racism, racist propaganda, and just straight up ignorance which still lingers.
The truth is that this stereotype is a fabricated exaggeration. The popularity of Southern Friend Chicken is simply the result of good taste and texture, America’s unhealthy eating habits, and the American business industry’s uncanny ability to capitalize on and expand the sell of a product. For those of us with a racially diverse circle of friend, simple observation and common sense will likely reveal that everyone loves fried chicken about the same. I went back and told my findings to the person that prompted my internet research. I don’t think that it helped anything given that people seem to like perpetuating stereotypes regardless of the available facts. Regardless, it’s good to simply know and here is a video that I found during my search where the guy throws out some of those facts while cooking fried chicken.