Black History: Special Delivery!!
A Joe’s Crab Shack location in Minnesota is in hot water. On March 10, 2016, Tyrone Williams and Chauntyll Allen visited the Joe’s Crab Shack in Roseville, MN. When seated, they noticed a picture of what appeared to be a lynching. The photo displayed a large group of whites at the public hanging of a black man. The picture was captioned, “Hanging At Groesbeck, TX on April 12, 1895”. Added to the photo was a speech bubble near the executioner’s stand, “All I said was, I don’t like the gumbo”
Restaurant management apologized for the photo and offered the patrons a free meal which they refused. The man depicted in the photo was Richard Burleson who was convicted of killing a man with a rock in 1894. The horrific legacy of lynching in the U.S. is well documented. It was not at all unusual for blacks to be accused of trumped up charges and not given due legal process. The patrons and the NAACP demanded a public apology and the removal of the table. They also demanded that the franchise owner, Ignite Restaurant Group make a donation to the local NAACP. It is unknown if the picture was present in other Joe’s Crab Shack locations. It is not clear if the picture appears at other locations of the Texas-based restaurant.
Some of our Black Mail readers may remember our previous Black Mail post about photographs from lynchings being sold as postcards. In 2016, it seems that there are some who are still finding ways to profit off the murder and mistreatment of African Americans. Even more surprising is that the offensive nature of the “décor” could would not have been questioned before making it all the way into the view of the general public.