Mardi Gras-themed BSU dinner offers Cajun dishes, explores “voodoo culture”

This year’s Black Student Union Soul Food Dinner, titled “Bloodline,” explored the culture of New Orleans in the 1920s with a touch of Cajun cuisine.

The evening started with dinner, which included Cajun fried chicken, barbecue spare ribs, macaroni and cheese, candied yams, corn on the cob, vegetable jambalaya and for dessert, beignets.

“The food was really good,” senior Shamfa Tittle said. “It was something different and I learned a little bit about the culture as well.”

According to senior Kisha Laurent, president of BSU, the evening’s theme was Mardi Gras.

“We thought, ‘Do we want it to be funny? Do we want it to be dark?’” Laurent said. “Then we decided, ‘Let’s talk about the voodoo culture,’ because it’s a part of a lot of black culture … it’s really interesting … so we embraced it.”

“We all wanted it to be dark and different from our usual bubblegum pop performances that end happily,” Laurent said.

The performance opened with the Dubois family at dinner discussing their problems with one another. Vincent DuBois, played by BSU Secretary sophomore Christopher Bland, dealt drugs; Jean-Pierre DuBois, played by freshman Christian Beckley, cheated on his wife multiple times; and Alexandra DuBois, played by sophomore Bria O’Garro, annoyed her brothers by trying to be perfect.

During the dinner, Papa DuBois, played by junior Andre Doeman, felt disappointed with his children, and the stressful conversation caused him to have a stroke.

Papa DuBois’ stroke caused him to give up the family business and choose which child deserved his money most. The DuBois siblings went to visit the Voodoo Queen Kraytia, played by junior Danielle Williamson. Kraytia gave them amulets that later turned out to bring more harm than good.

Vincent decided to trick Jean-Pierre out of his share of the money and mislead him into cheating on his wife again with a prostitute from a speakeasy. Alexandra did the same to Vincent. She later told Jean-Pierre that Vincent set him up, which caused a fight between the brothers.

In the end, the DuBois siblings found out that their father tricked them to show that none of the children deserved the money. The father knew the voodoo queen and asked her to give them the amulets, which “would show their true best selves.” The father decided to give the money to charity to teach his children a lesson so that his “bloodline gets stronger with each generation.”

“It was a great experience,” said sophomore Christopher Charan. “The food was amazing to the point where I had to get seconds. The show also kept me in suspense.”

The evening ended with a conga line throughout the audience as well as a tribute to Laurent for her hard work on the dinner.