A Juneteenth menu that was supposed to be served at an Ikea store in Atlanta as a tribute to the newly recognized federal holiday resulted in anger among its Black employees who said the menu, shared with them by email, was insensitive and that the store’s manager was ignorant for green-lighting it.
While more than 30 employees failed to show up for work Saturday for the celebration, others thought about quitting, according to a local CBS news affiliate. The store’s manager was left to apologize for the menu that included fried chicken, watermelon, mac and cheese and collard greens.
Offended employees said no Blacks participated in creating the menu, added that moving forward the management team needs to do more to educate themselves on black culture, according to the report.
“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 slavery time,” one employee said, the CBS affiliate reported. “It caused a lot of people to be upset. People actually wanted to quit. People weren’t coming back to work.”
Meanwhile, the manager issued an email stating his regret over the menu.
“I truly apologize if the menu came off as subjective,” the email said in part, CBS reported. “It was created with the best of intentions by a few of our coworkers who believed they were representing their culture and tradition with these foods of celebration.”