Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Power outage rocks campus
Power outage rocks campus
Jack Brandt September 13, 2023

BSU hosts a historical Soul Food Dinner

Shauntrice Gamble (’19) presents her artwork during the Soul Food Dinner hosted by the Black Student Union. Photo by Kevin Donovan

Nov. 17th was the Black Student Union’s fourth annual soul food dinner in the Gavle rooms.

The event was originally called the ‘Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner,’ but was later changed to the ‘Soul Food Dinner’ “in order to be culture-sensitive to the actual history of Thanksgiving,” the Vice President of the BSU, sophomore Ashanti Mobley said.

Soul Food dates back to the time when slavery was still legal in the United States. “The slave owners would give the enslaved the undesirable parts of their food, such as pig intestines which we now call chitterlings,” Mobley said about the concept of “soul food.”

People bought tickets prior to the event and checked in before heading into the Gavle rooms. Some people had assigned seating, while others choose from the other tables set up throughout the room. The reserved seating was mainly for the performers, their friends and families that came with them.

Some of the food served included fried chicken, mashed potatoes, green beans, pudding, peach cobbler and collared greens. Attendees were released a few tables at a time to go to the back of the room, where food was served, buffet-styled.

“The peach cobbler is one of the best parts,” senior Lydia Lara said.

This year also marked the BSU’s 50th year of being on campus. In its beginning, it was “a way to interact with the president. Students on campus could have a resource” BSU’s president, sophomore Jordan Cray said.

“It always helps us come together as a community. It’s always a calm environment,” Lara, who has gone to the event for the four years it has taken place, said.

Along with food, there were also speakers, artists and poets who performed on stage. These people included the BSU’s historian, Talayah Lemon, who presented some of her artworks, and Shauntrice Gamble, a senior, who recited one of her poems.

The main speaker at the event was one of Augustana’s current sociology professors, Corey Miles, and is currently researching the social impact of hip hop on campus.

Miles gave a brief history behind the concept of “soul food” before people were released to experience it firsthand. He told the crowd the origins  soul food and how it has evolved into what it is today.

The praise team from an East Moline church also sang in the beginning, saying, “Eat and Be Thankful.” They sang “The Song of Jabes” and “Our God” to celebrate the food that was to be served and as a celebration for the up and coming Thanksgiving holiday.

One of the main concepts behind the Soul Food Dinner was that “we made something out of nothing and there is still stuff to be grateful for,” Cray said.

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BSU hosts a historical Soul Food Dinner