The Slippery University Black Action Society (BAS) sponsored and hosted an event called Soul Food Tuesday on Tuesday evening in the Smith Student Center ballroom. The event, which gave Slippery Rock students a chance to taste homemade and traditional southern soul food, had been in the works since last semester, BAS president O’Dell Richardson said.
“This is our second year doing [the event],” Richardson explained. “We have been planning this event since last semester but it really came into full effect within the last month. This last week we have been planning it all, making sure everything was ordered and made sure everybody was doing something.”
The event was something everyone could connect on and it helped bring everyone that goes to Slippery Rock closer together, freshmen Elena Schaffin and Jameela Johnson both explained.
Freshman Kemoni Farmer said the whole purpose of Black Action Society is to get the whole campus to know their culture and heritage, part of which was the food that was being eaten. The food that was served to the students was all homemade, with the exception of a few small food items that were donated by AVI Foodsystems, Richardson said. The homemade food included fried chicken, catfish, yams, peach cobblers (a favorite of Richardson’s), macaroni and cheese and much more.
“Soul food is all about the love you share with your friends and family over a nice home-cooked meal,” Richardson said. “When you think of soul food you think of going to grandmom’s house on a Sunday after church for homemade food and being able to sit down with your family to have a nice conversation, and that is all we are trying to do here.”
Graduate student Brittany Terry said one of the biggest issues on Slippery Rock’s predominately white campus is that there is a lack of effort to listen about other’s cultures. There needs to be more of a push to be diverse. If there is an unwillingness to be diverse then there is no way to move forward, she explained.
Richardson said he believes that we, as a university, are scared to get in contact with one another. We are scared to talk to one another because of the stereotypes that have come before us and we are the generation to change that, he said. Richardson said that as a campus we all need to start seeing things for ourselves and we also need to be able to just get away from the stereotypes.
“People are scared to talk,” he said. “We are all human. We all bleed the same way, we all have the same beatin’ heart, even if it is a different rhythm.”
The rest of the semester will feature a multitude of events put on by BAS, Richardson explained. One of those events is the annual Ebony Ball, where Richardson said all of the accomplishments that the BAS has had over the month of February and last semester will be celebrated.