White People Eat Fried Chicken

Allison Swank
Just as Nelson Mandela went underground as the Black Pimpernel in 1961 to evade the white apartheid government, in this TV ad for  a popular South African fast food chain, this white Afrikaner family goes underground in 1994 to escape Mandela’s black government–what?

And white people eat fried chicken at a food joint whose slogan is “soul food”?

This intermingling of race roles is a clear attempt to normalize black stereotypes of soul and chicken in white culture–which is represented here as uptight and fearful. To sell chicken to white people, Chicken Licken tries to bridge the divide between what is stereotypically white and black, while managing to reinforce both clichés. Over it.

Sean Jacobs

Sean Jacobs is on the international affairs faculty of The New School. He is the Founder and Editor of Africa is a Country.

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