CONCORD -- The principal of Carondelet High School has apologized for a "racially insensitive" menu of fried chicken, watermelon and cornbread planned in honor of Black History Month.

The article can be read at http://www.mercurynews.com/education/ci_25079331/fried-chicken-watermelon-school-lunch-black-history-month

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For many, there is a desire to have a natural integration of African American history across school curriculum, news programming, magazine articles, and media. Unfortunately, when we let natural integration occur, we have March-January. What society defaults to is what is comfortable within the professional range of teaching curriculum, programming the news, writing articles, and producing media. We will share what is natural for who we are. 

What February asks us to do is take a risk to acknowledge part of our history. When our sense of history is similar to and inclusive of African American history, acknowledgement may be easier. We turn to our personal libraries, music collections, family photo albums and other resources. We turn to celebrate in February and any other month when a personal or professional connection and purpose makes sense for what we are doing at any given time. 

When our sense of history is different and excludes African Americans and their culture, acknowledgement can be challenging. We are different, unpracticed, and have limited models of timely, appropriate, positive and inclusive resources to recognize and celebrate this perspective of American history and our greater community. 

What happened in Concord isn't unfortunate, it is hurtful. Too many people had an opportunity to bridge differences, practice awareness, and model how to move beyond racial stereotypes. Too many people had a chance to make a timely decision, guide an organization to recognize history appropriately, and act in a positive manner. When we struggle to act with others in mind, people get hurt.

As with all history, there are multiple perspectives. Carondelet High School educators expressed one perspective and are now part of American history. It's this part of American history that requires we continue to practice understanding racial and cultural differences during February, African American History Month.