Juneteenth celebrations didn’t go over so well at one Atlanta branch of IKEA.
CBS 46 TV news reported as many as 33 employees called in sick to work to protest when a menu was announced to celebrate June 19, which marks the emancipation of the last enslaved Americans.
“Look out for a special menu on Saturday which will include: fried chicken, watermelon, mac n cheese, potato salad, collard greens, candied yams,” said an email obtained by TMZ, according to the New York Post.
Unfortunately, the menu included items that stereotype African-American dishes.
“You cannot say serving watermelon on Juneteenth is a soul food menu when you don’t even know the history,” an anonymous employee told Atlanta’s CBS 46.
“They used to feed slaves watermelon. It caused a lot of people to be upset. People actually wanted to quit. People weren’t coming back to work.”
Ultimately, CBS 46 reported the store’s manager apologized via an internal email.
“She said, ‘I truly apologize. The menu came off [offensive],’” the employee told the TV station.
But the worker said all of the controversy could have been avoided if people of colour had been included in choosing the menu in the first place.
“None of the co-workers who sat down to create the menu, no one was black,” said the employee.
Finally a new, revised menu was released for June 19 with the store manager telling CBS 46 it included collard greens, cornbread, mashed potatoes, and meatloaf.
And Sunday’s menu?
“Fried chicken, mac ’n’ cheese, collard greens,” the employee said.
IKEA did not return the New York Post’s request for comment.