According to the New York Daily News there is “new evidence of racist restaurant waitstaff may leave a bad taste in the mouths of African-American diners.After polling 200 servers in 18 North Carolina restaurants, researchers found that a shocking 38.5% discriminated against black customers.Waiters admitted that they often gave them poorer service, based on their expectations that black diners would be poor tippers, demanding and rude.” READ MORE Sometime we like to bury our heads in the sand about racism yet in 2012 with a physically Black President of the United States of multi-cultural heritage, the reality is still there. Is it as bad as it once was? No, but it doesn’t erase reality. This phenomenom isn’t just reserved to Blacks only. In several private conversations I learned of Latino men describing dining anxiety or avoidance of some fine dining establishments because of a sense of not belonging or being a sell out. There are two sides of the coin going on, preconceptions of the diner and the waitstaff.
When approached about doing the book review of Dining While Black written by Aisha Karefa-Smart, I thought to myself “Why?” I thought it was going to be an insulting presumptuous book about “how we are.” I hate broad stroking and stereotyping. However, the book is not at all what I presumed and I will admit the author put me in my place. In fact I have to give her a 7o’s “Right on!” To my surprise it is an incredibly warm, personal and informative book. At page 22 the author captured my complete attention with topic of The Negro Motorist Green Book. The history buff that I am became quite impressed with the history presented about the African American dining experience in America.
Editorial and book review by Crystal A. Johnson