Larry Hearn, MCISA’s planner for the event, said the organizations wanted to offer food from multiple parts of the African diaspora to highlight Webster’s global interconnectedness and inclusivity. He explained that the planners looked at three areas of the diaspora specifically: African American, African and Afro-Caribbean.
Sophomore Elayna Etuk decided to come to the event after noticing a poster. While she had tried all of the food before, Etuk was glad to find food from Africa.
Etuk was especially excited to find Moin-Moin, a bean pudding from Nigeria. She said that her grandfather came from Nigeria, but she was raised in a more African American culture.
“Like, I don’t get my Nigerian culture very much at all which makes me mad,” Etuk said. “When I came here, I was like ‘I know they are going to have African food. I want to go there.’”
At the event, tables were also filled with beans, mac and cheese, meats, various types of rice and other foods. Fliers that explained the history of soul food were distributed to attendees as they ate.
“It’s an invitation in a sense,” Hearn said. “Inviting you to come taste our food and come taste our culture and listen to our music in celebration of Black History Month.”
Over 60 students and staff accepted this invitation, and the room was quickly filled. Hosts from each organization scrambled to find seating as guests continued to trickle in, and the tray of fried chicken ran out before everybody could get a serving.
Because of the large turnout, McLauchlin said she could see the organizations teaming up for a similar event next year.
“I knew it was going to be big, but this is just different,” McLauchlin said. “You just see a lot of love, and you see a lot of appreciation for people that genuinely want to come and support the event. So yeah, I couldn’t be more thankful for that.”
For Etuk, the event offered an opportunity to celebrate black people and their history. Because of this, Etuk was glad to see the diversity of the guests who attended the event.
“I’m glad there’s not just black people in here. Like there’s white people, there’s Asian people,” Etuk said, “because I think everybody should celebrate everybody.”