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Thursday, June 5, 2008

What do Folks in the Soul Food Spot think of Obama?

OK, so I came across this Reuters article about what black folks think of Obama's victory. It's headlined: "Blacks savor Obama win, fear disappointment." I'm reading and early in the piece I get to this:
The knowledge that Obama will be the first black American to lead a major party in a U.S. presidential election as he faces Republican John McCain in November provoked a flood of reflection from black voters at Atlanta's "K&K Soul Food" restaurant.
Uh...this reporter's search for black voters takes him to K&K Soul Food? Was the barbershop closed that day?

I can see the reporter, Matthew Bigg and his editor in the newsroom that day.

Editor: Matt, we need you to write a piece on what black people are feeling about Obama's unprecedented win.

Matt: Wow, that's gonna be a tough one. We're in Atlanta, where will we ever find black voters?

Editor: You're right Matt. Maybe we should just scrap the story....Wait, don't they like greasy colon clogging pork products marinated in barbecue sauce and greens bathed in hog fat.

Matt: I think they do.

Editor: It's almost lunch time, head down to K&K's!!!! And bring me back some ribs!!!!

Here's some my favorite parts:

ICED TEA

It was business as usual at the restaurant in a working-class neighborhood in southwest Atlanta.

As on any other day, the mostly black clientele lined up with brown trays to select from a menu that included oxtail, fried fish, collard greens and iced tea, paid the cashier in her glass booth and sat down to eat using plastic knives and forks.

[Watch the smooth transition here--RS]

Some customers said Obama's win was evidence of wider changes that included a softening of barriers between blacks and whites and a broader acceptance that many groups compete in U.S. society.


and this one:

"I am not looking at him (Obama) in terms of color. Maybe my parents would have done that. I am looking at him as the best candidate," she said between mouthfuls of fried fish.

Jackson said she traveled to eat at "K&K" because the restaurant seasoned its food in a way that reminded her of how food was cooked when she was growing up in Mississippi.

6 comments:

ryan call said...

oh. my. god.

Anonymous said...

oh this is just the beginning buddy. please sit back and enjoy the show, because it's about to get real 'ignant'.

dh said...

I don't know. See Bigg's account of correspondence work in Zaire in 1996: http://www.prospect-magazine.co.uk/article_details.php?id=5095.

I don't disagree with the vigilance, though. Forget ignant, I think it is going to get downright evil. Take heart, but be vigilant.

Rion Amilcar Scott said...

That's an interesting account, Bigg wrote of his time in Zaire. Much better than the article I lampooned, which I still maintain is lazy and laughable journalism. It's even worse to see that he is capable of doing much better than that.

Lynnet said...

"she said between mouthfuls of fried fish."
goodness, not only do we like fried foods, we don't even have manners enough to finish chewing first before talking. ugh! talk about perpetuating stereotypes!

dh said...

That's a good point. I was thinking that it took on a different perspective knowing it was a British career journalist with international experience and not Billy Bob Bigg from Unicoi Gap, Georgia--but you're right, this is worse. Have you seen the BBC's coverage of local America? It is often like this. I don't know why I expect better from the BBC.