Geneseo’s Black Student Union hosted their sold-out Annual Soul Food Dinner in the MacVittie College Union Ballroom on Saturday Feb. 25. While enjoying dinner, attendees watched theatrical, musical and dance performances from BSU club members.
“We put on this event every year to express ourselves and demonstrate our culture,” sociology major junior Zakiya Rose said.
To highlight the accomplishments of black women, the BSU executive board chose the theme “A Phenomenal Woman” for this year’s event. At the door, club members collected tickets, handed out flowers and thanked each female attendee for “being phenomenal.”
For dinner, attendees enjoyed soul food staples: southern fried chicken, baked macaroni and cheese, candied yams, collard greens, peach cobbler and more. As they ate, audience members heard both the Black National Anthem and a reading of Maya Angelou’s poem—and inspiration for the night’s theme— “Phenomenal Woman.”
“I really enjoyed the play and performances,” biology major sophomore Sydney Alexander said. “They really helped make the event a completely engaging experience. Anyone who couldn’t come or didn’t get a ticket this year should definitely come next year.”
Although the dinner featured nearly three hours of student-run entertainment, the play—written and performed by members of BSU—distinguished itself as a favorite among audience members. Foregrounding the family drama that unfolds in the wake of a mother’s death, the play emphasized the theme “A Phenomenal Woman” by showcasing the resilience of three sisters.
“My favorite part of the night was the variety of the acts performed,” history major senior Juliana Thompson said. “Between the acting, singing and dancing, we really experienced the whole package—however, I think that the play was the highlight.”
As a culmination of their Black History Month events, the Annual Soul Food Dinner signifies one of BSU’s largest and most highly anticipated events.
Throughout the month of February, the e-board coordinated both celebratory and informational events, including a screening of Nick Cassavetes’ film, John Q. BSU also sponsored a sweatshirt day on Saturday, for which they encouraged the community to wear hoodies in remembrance of Trayvon Martin.
“I am so happy with the way that this event went,” communication major junior Alisa Mentor said. “The whole night went off without any major problems, and it’s really great to see so much support coming from the community.”
While Black History Month came to an end on Tuesday Feb. 28, both BSU and Zeta Phi Beta—a historically black sorority—have events and programs planned throughout the rest of the semester, according to sociology major senior Emonnie Bennett.
Zeta Phi Beta will host a concert on Friday March 3 at the Knight Spot to raise money for the March of Dimes, according to Bennett, who served as the 2016 BSU president and who choreographed dances for the 2017 dinner.
Additionally, the sorority will host a Blue Allure Fashion Show at the Lederer Fine Arts Gallery this coming April.