Today: Jun 18, 2024

Soul food to celebrate Black History Month in Conn Hall

Chardoneé Wright, Staff Writer- 

Bringing faculty, staff, and students together to enjoy a soul food menu is what coordinator for Multicultural Student Activities, Dian Brown-Albert, said allows recognition and honor for Black History month.

“Food brings people together, so in Black History Month, we tried something different,” said Brown-Albert. 

In Connecticut Hall, students had the option to eat from a full soul food menu for lunch and dinner. Students bustled in and out of the cafeteria, filling their plates with a variety of foods. Expressions such as “What is cat-fish?” and “Let’s try the dumplings!” filled the air as some students debated with their friends whether they should try the unfamiliar foods.

George Verlezza, a junior English major, said he is a commuter and eats at Conn Hall about twice a week. Verlezza said he cooks collard greens all the time, and enjoyed it.

“The collard greens were delicious,” said Verlezza. “The grits didn’t do it for me. They were too runny.”

Some of the lunch entrees were “Georgia” Fried Catfish with Southern tar-tar sauce, braised collard greens, spicy cheese harmony grits and old fashioned corn bread muffins.

Brown-Albert also had the chance to eat at Conn Hall and enjoyed the food as well.

“That catfish was finger-licking good!” said Brown-Albert.

A few of the dinner entrees included Southern buttermilk fried chicken, mashed potatoes with creamy pepper gravy, and honey-glazed carrots.

Desserts included banana bread pudding, sweet potato pie, pineapple upside-down cake, and fresh fruit.

Rebekah Moore, senior psychology major said she liked the variety that was given.

“My favorite dishes were the chicken, dumplings, cat fish and collard greens,” said Moore.“I liked the twist of the entrees and it was something different.”

According to African American Registry, “soul food” is a term used for an ethnic cuisine traditionally prepared and eaten by the African Americans living in the Southern United States.

The origins of soul food dated back to the days of slavery where slaves learned to use leftovers that their masters did not eat, and create meals from them.

When African Americans were brought to America, they presented plant seeds to America such as sweet sorghum, watermelon, black eyed peas and okra.

Soul Food Advisor said that slaves were very skilled when preparing meals, hence the fact there were no cook books or measuring utensils to accommodate them.

The food was usually cooked on fireplaces with large black pots, open pits, and big iron cast skillets.

Soul Food Advisor said that verbal exchanges between slaves were how recipes passed on to each other. Women were taught how to prepare meals at a young age. One meal was usually permitted per slave.

Soul food received its name in the 60s and was previously referred to as “Southern-Style cooking.”

Aside from bringing faculty and students together, Brown-Albert said that the menu brought something different to the usual menu that students were used to.

“I actually saw faculty members in Conn Hall that I haven’t seen all semester,” said Brown-Albert. “It’s not every day you get fried cat fish.”

Southern celebrates Black History month through a variety of activities; Brown-Albert encourages celebration in all ways. 

“People celebrate Black History Month in all different ways”, said Brown-Albert. “Whether you try some meal, whether you go to church, whether you recognize and honor people in your past, everybody does something different.”

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