The Black mother who was denied seating at a Baltimore restaurant because of her son’s wardrobe, despite another child wearing the same type of clothes, is speaking out.
Last week, #MarciaGrant recorded a video of her and her son Dallas being denied seating at an Atlas group-owned restaurant called Ouzo Bay because of what her son was wearing. In the video, Grant showed her son sporting an Air Jordan shirt with matching shorts and shoes. You can see her explaining to a restaurant host, who approached her, that another family with a young child wearing a similar outfit was seated for dining while she was not.
“Unfortunately, we do have a dress code,” the host said. To which, Grant cut in and said, “But that white kid out there can? He’s here with his tennis shoes on and his athletic shirt,” the mother said. The host then said that the white child wasn’t wearing athletic wear but that Grant’s son was. This prompted the mother to question the difference between her son’s outfit and the white child’s. By the end of the video, the host was still unable to find a valid reason for why the white family was seated, and they were not.
Since then, the family has filed a lawsuit against the company Atlas Restaurant Group. On Tuesday, Grant, her son, and their lawyer appeared on TMZ Live to give details about the ordeal and their legal action. “It was really hard. It was hard for Dallas because Dallas had never been met with racism. Dallas just turned nine in April. And I’ve never explained that to him,” she said. He has white friends, and they are taught that they are all the same.” Grant’s lawyer #DonteMills says the family is moving forward with the lawsuit. Atlas Restaurant has apologized for its location’s actions, however, Mills says that’s not enough. “An apology is not sufficient, and it also misses the mark,” said Mills, explaining that there is no issue with an establishment having a dress code, but rather it consistently be applied to every customer.
In their apology statement, Atlas wrote: “The video clearly shows the woman’s son, an African American young person, wearing athletic shorts and an Air Jordan shirt. The video also shows a Caucasian youth, dressed similarly, who was permitted to dine in the restaurant. This should have never have happened; the manager seen in the video has been placed on indefinite leave.” Grant says Dallas now has plans of his own to speak out about the injustices he’s faced with the help of some of his friends.