- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 7, 2002

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) A supermarket advertised a sale on fried chicken in honor of Black History Month, prompting the company to issue an apology after a customer complained.
Giant Food Stores customer Lance Sellers brought the ad to the attention of the manager of the store in Union Deposit, east of Harrisburg. The sign read: "In honor of Black History Month, we at Giant are offering a special savings on fried chicken."
"I showed it to a few of the other customers and they all were stunned," Mr. Sellers said. "When I approached the store manager about the problem, he had the nerve to ask me why it offended me so much."
Giant Food Stores apologized and said the sign was not meant to be offensive.
"It did happen. It was at that one store only," said Denny Hopkins, Giant's vice president of advertising. "We had a customer bring the sign to us and complain and we immediately took it down."
Paula Diane Harris, president of the Greater Harrisburg Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, said the sign reinforces racist stereotypes.
"Not all African-Americans eat fried chicken, greens and chitlins. We like salad, roast beef, low-fat chicken, just like everybody else," she said.
Giant is sponsoring several programs for Black History Month, including having jazz bands and soul-food samples at its Kline Village Plaza and Union Deposit stores, Mr. Hopkins said.
Mr. Sellers said the sign wouldn't keep him from shopping at the store.
"We laugh about it," he said. "How could they put something like that out there?"


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