NYU Fires Cooks For Serving Watermelon Water And Ribs At Black History Month Event

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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A food service company fired some of its employees after they planned a meal of ribs, watermelon and collard greens for a New York University Black History Month dinner earlier this week.

A sophomore at the school, Nia Harris, posted an email she sent to department heads about the “racially insensitive” meal of barbecue ribs, collard greens, watermelon, cornbread and Kool- Aid at Weinstein Passport Dining Hall, reports The New York Times.

“Today this happened. Today I was lied to, placated, and ignored. In 2018 I literally had to explain why displaying watermelon and koolaid in celebration of Black History Month was not only racially insensitive but just ignorant,” Harris said in a Facebook post about the experience.

She said that when she confronted the head cook about the meal selection, he claimed that some black employees had helped put together the meal plan.

Both the university president and Aramark, the catering service the college uses, condemned the actions of the employees. University President Andrew Hamilton said the college is expecting the catering company to put in measures to prevent a repeat of the incident, while Aramark apologized for the “insensitive actions” of their employees.


“Employees at N.Y.U. who acted independently and did not follow our approved plan for the celebration of Black History Month have been terminated and are no longer with the company,” Amarak said in a statement.

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