As part of a string of month-long Black History Month events, Miami University’s regional campuses will host two “A Taste of Soul” events this month. On Saturday, Feb.21, there will be a dinner from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at HT Wilks Conference Center on the Hamilton campus. In Middletown, a luncheon is set for Thursday, Feb. 26 from 11:30 to 1 p.m. in the Campus Community Center, Room 142.
“What we do is we try to get people to learn more about soul food, so we will have a presentation beforehand that will explain about the history of soul food,” said Gail King, senior program assistant for the Regional Office of Diversity and Multicultural Services. “It became popular in the 1960s and it originated in the South. The dinner usually includes fried chicken, or fried fish.”
Soul food is typically described as a variety of cuisine that is popular in the African-American culture. Soul food became popular in the South in the mid-1960s, and it included wild game. Although preparation styles sometimes vary, fried foods are more popular today. A traditional soul food dinner might consist of fried chicken or fried fish, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, breaded fried okra and cornbread. Sweet potato pie is another favorite staple.
“With this annual event, we hope to bring the students and community together, to entertain them with the music and the food. It will also be an educational opportunity as we share about the background of soul food,” King said.
Ruth Orth, who works in public affairs and marketing for Miami University Middletown added, “The whole reason we do it is for fellowship and to connect with the community. It’s just another avenue that we reach out to celebrate our community, especially those with an African-American heritage.”
In Hamilton, tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (age 55 and up), and $5 for children under 12. Guests will enjoy traditional soul food, entertainment and vendors with merchandise, arts and crafts. Miami University Hamilton is located at 1601 University Blvd. Entertainment will be provided by The Northern Kentucky Brotherhood Singers at 6:30 p.m. The menu will include fried chicken, fried tilapia, collard greens, macaroni and cheese, cornbread and muffins, sweet potato pie, peach bread pudding and drinks. About 10 to 15 arts and crafts vendors are expected to turnout. Last year, the event in Hamilton attracted about 200 guests.
The luncheon at Miami’s Middletown campus will offer a time of fellowship combined with traditional soul food. This year’s menu will include fried chicken, fried catfish, collard greens, green beans, macaroni and cheese, candied sweet potatoes, potato salad, coleslaw, red beans and rice, pound cake, sweet potato pie, cornbread, dinner rolls and punch. Admission is $7. Carryout is available, no call-in orders. Local musician, Eddie Osborne (sax and vocalist) will perform from 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m. Miami University Middletown is located at 4200 N. University Blvd.
For more information on the events, call Miami University’s Regional Offices of Diversity and Multicultural Services at (513) 785-3024, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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