University apologizes for its Black History Month dining menu

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The president of Wright State University has apologized for a Black History Month dining hall menu that featured fried chicken and collard greens, the Columbus Dispatch reports.

According to the Dispatch, menu screens at the small Ohio school offered mashed potatoes and cornbread under photos of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and other black leaders. The images quickly gained traction on social media, and were deemed offensive.

Fried chicken is often associated with racial stereotyping in the United States.

President David Hopkins sent an email Thursday apologizing to the school board, and pledging a change:

“I apologize to anyone hurt by the display,” Hopkins wrote. “To our credit, the menu was quickly removed. But the larger question remains: Why was it done? I will find out. We will take steps to prevent this kind of behavior occurring in the future."

Chartwells Higher Education Dining Service, the university food service, said that it tries to help celebrate national events on campus with "authentic cuisine," the Dispatch reports, and in no way was the menu meant to be insensitive.

A senior and president of the school's Black Student Union, Billy Barabino, said the menu was indeed in poor taste.

"I was really hurt... extremely hurt," Barabino told the Columbus Dispatch.