Cultures celebrated at Black History Month dinner

Photo by Nick Faulkner

Photo by Nick Faulkner

On Tuesday night, Todd Dining Hall hosted A Day in the Diaspora: Dine, Dance, Dress and Drama.

This year’s theme was created by student organizations and the Ledonia Wright Cultural Center. The LWCC as well as Black Student Union, Caribbean Student Association representatives came together to create a theme that not only represented Black History Month but showcased it in a unique way.

This year Campus Dining wanted more of the student opinion on the dinner’s theme. Putting the theme in the hands of the students gave Campus Dining exactly what it wanted and helped the student organizations feel more a part of the Black History Month dinners.

Campus Dining created this year’s menu. BSU and CSA representatives finalized a menu that would represent the theme of the event, according to Stephanie Sumner, marketing manager for Campus Dining.

The organizations incorporated foods from the American South, Africa and the Caribbean. Foods from sweet potato pie to banana fritters to picked peach chutney filled students’ plates.

“We want students to come try out the different cuisine,” said Sumner, when asked why Campus Dining holds events such as these.

These dinners are also a way Campus Dining educates students about foods and cultures they may not be aware of.

“We try to bring in an educational piece, and teach the students about things they don’t know about,” said Sumner. “We learn something every year doing these events!”

There were many forms of entertainment, including the African Students Organization performing a dance, jazz musicians, a F.A.M.E. modeling demonstration and a BSU trivia wheel.

BSU member Jamitress Bowden helped create the trivia questions for their game.

“We created these questions because we wanted students to learn different things and people who influenced history,” said Bowden.

Representing ASO at the dinner were Augustine Akyaw and Leroy Ediage. They performed a traditional soukous dance from Congo in West Africa. Akyaw is a senior public health major and Ediage is a senior psychology major.

Freshman English major Leah Brooks enjoyed the event but wished there was more cultural entertainment and educational opportunities at the dinner.

“It would have been nice to maybe see some African wear, poetry, and for ECU to have shed some light on the educational side of Black History Month,” said Brooks.

Freshman nursing major Imani Williams felt that Campus Dining should have more of these events.

“They should have more than just Black History Month events,” said Williams. “They should choose different cultures and have different good food like this all the time.”

Campus Dining is hoping to mirror this event for West End Dining Hall on Feb. 26 and give students the opportunity to come that could not make it to Todd, according to Sumner.

In the coming months, Campus Dining is holding a Dr. Seuss Lunch and National Nutrition Month promotion in March and Earth Day Lunch in April.

This writer can be contacted at news@theeeastcarolinian.com.

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