In honor of Black History Month, OCPS will serve soul food in the cafeteria tomorrow at both lunches.
“[The cuisine] displays the sheer determination of the enslaved African to make the most of what was available, which was often the most humble of ingredients,” an advertisement on Brave TV News said.
The menu includes breaded or Jerk drumsticks, half macaroni and cheese, southern biscuit or dinner roll, fresh collards, and strawberries.
“I have tried soul food before, my parents usually make it for special events or when we are having a family dinner together. My favorites are baked mac and cheese and collard greens,” senior and Black Student Union treasurer Javia Lee said.
Although the district plans the menu items, Cafeteria Manager Nick Reynolds is responsible for testing out the approved menu.
“We sample everything every day before we feed it to the students. I’ve had everything [on the menu and] the breaded jerk chicken drumsticks are incredible,” Reynolds said.
Soul food meals will be available to students at no cost, as all students 18 and younger continue to qualify for free lunch until August 2021.
Food and Nutrition Services issued the menu in order to “celebrate the contributions of the African American culture through cuisine,” as stated on BTVN.
“Food and Nutrition services [planned the menu]; my job is making sure that every student gets a healthy meal,” Reynolds said.
The inclusion of soul food on the menu comes alongside the efforts of BSU to diversify culture on campus.
“I believe our president did mention that the African American culture has not been represented enough at Boone and that we should do more than just put facts on Boone news, but we should also have our culture be experienced,” Lee said.
The club also sponsored daily facts about a variety of influential Black figures on BTVN, ranging from Robert H. Lawrence, the first African American astronaut, to Shirley Chisolm, the first Black woman to become elected to Congress and run for president as a major party candidate.
“Black Student Union usually tries to pick figures that not a lot of people have heard about because the school system has failed to teach about them. We try to talk about figures that should be known just as well as MLK or Malcolm X,” Lee said.
Black History Month continues until March 1.
“I think it’s definitely a great start to honoring Black History month, but just putting food out isn’t what Black history month is about. It’s a part of African American culture, but there is so much more that isn’t represented. I want to hope and believe that Black History month sheds light on the issues African Americans have to face,” Lee said.