Black History Month or African American History month is commemorated every February to celebrate the achievements and history of African Americans but this year's annual observance has stirred up a racial controversy after a viral photo started doing the rounds on social media.
Earlier this month, a purported tweet from KFC was circulated on social, featuring an image of the fast-food chain's popular fried chicken drumstick casting a silhouette on the wall in the shape of the Black Power symbol - a clenched fist that represents solidarity with the African-American community and one that has become synonymous with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The image is accompanied with the caption, "I hear you, I see you and I stand with you #BlackHistoryMonth."
We can confirm that the image is fake and not something that was tweeted out by KFC to "honor" Black History Month. However, the image was posted as an advertisement by KFC last year. In August, the official Instagram account of KFC Trinidad & Tobago shared the image on Emancipation Day – a public holiday that is celebrated in several Caribbean countries marking the end of slavery in the British Empire.
The promo drew widespread backlash and criticism at the time in the United States, where fried chicken remains closely associated with racist stereotypes about black people, as previously reported.
Shortly after the backlash, KFC Trinidad removed the post and issued a formal apology saying they will review its approval process of their social media activity to avoid future occurrences of such situations.
"At KFC Trinidad, we always strive to recognize our nation's multicultural history and make up, and to play our part recognising it," the company said in its statement on Instagram.
"Our intention was to support and recognise the importance of this historically significant event. We recognise that our posts commemorating Emancipation Day drew some negative responses. Clearly we got it wrong and we want to unreservedly apologise for the offense caused. As a result, we will be reviewing the approval process of all our communications to avoid situations like this reoccurring," the company added.