BSU dinner serves up hearty food and a powerful message

On Saturday evening, Geneseo's Black Student Union hosted the organization's annual "Soul Food" dinner. The dinner featured a menu of hearty dishes as well as a performance of In My Skin, an original play written by BSU's executive board and members.

BSU co-presidents Noemi Acevedo, a junior, and Ben Stanley, a sophomore, wanted a change from last year's dinner, which featured a speaker. The executive board came up with the play to draw in more attendees and provide entertainment.

"The dinner was really good my freshman year," said Acevedo. "We wanted to bring it back."

Attendees were served a menu of stewed vegetables, fried chicken, cornbread and macaroni and cheese, among other dishes. CAS assisted with the preparation and serving of food. Many students enjoyed the luxury of a prepared, extensive meal.

"It was tasty, it was soulful, and the chicken was better than any chicken I've ever had at Geneseo," said senior Gavin Price.

The program portion began with a rendition of "Lift Every Voice," a song known as the Black National Anthem, sung by sophomore Tiara Daughtry.

The performance of In My Skin began afterwards. The play followed a black girl, played by freshman Shedia Christopher, who began to resent her dark complexion as a result of societal pressures. Her grandmother, played by freshman Phara Souffrant, taught the girl to appreciate her past by explaining the struggles of her ancestors, such as slavery and segregation. Souffrant and Christopher kept the play lighthearted with comedic dialogue. Students enjoyed both the humor and deeper issues in the play.

"I really liked the skit they put together," said freshman Jennifer Nortz of the performance. "They put a lot of work into it, and it shows."

The members of BSU put a great deal of effort into the planning and execution of the dinner. Many cultural groups on campus, such as Shakti and Latino Student Association, assisted with food and decorations.

"We planned for the dinner for about three months," said BSU Treasurer Cassie Fields, a junior. "I'm surprised and happy to see it all come together at the last minute."

After the dinner, "Soul Food" attendees headed to the KnightSpot for a celebratory after-party.