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Joe’s Crab Shack apologizes for using lynching photo as decor

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ROSEVILLE, Minn. — Joe’s Crab Shack is apologizing after one of its restaurants in Minnesota used a photo of an apparent lynching as part of its table decor.

The picture, which shows a large group of white people at the public hanging of a black man, was labeled “Hanging at Groesbeck, Texas on April 12th 1895.” A speech bubble coming from the executioners stand says, “All I said was that I didn’t like the gumbo.”

Tyrone Williams posted a photo of the picture on Facebook, saying in part: “It’s sad this is the image we have to look at in a Crab shack that has nothing to do with Texas it’s crazy.”

Since then, the image has been shared 1,500 times with many commenters expressing their outrage.

When contacted by KARE-TV, a spokesman for Joe’s Crab Shack issued the following statement:

“We understand one of the photos used in our table décor at our Joe’s Crab Shack location in Roseville, MN was offensive,” said David Catalano, COO Ignite Restaurant Group, Joe’s Crab Shack parent company. “We take this matter very seriously, and the photo in question was immediately removed. We sincerely apologize to our guests who were disturbed by the image and we look forward to continuing to serve the Roseville community.”

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1 Comment

  • Deonte Sharpe, Historian and African American

    Lots of people were legally hanged in Texas. Most of them white, but not all. The fact that the photo depicts a black man who was hung doesn’t make it a lynching, racially motivated or otherwise.

    Some people need to get an education before opening their mouths.