Taste of the Diaspora event connects students to Afro-culture through food and art

By Kelsy Acosta-Ramirez and Mohamed Turay, Staff Writer

Food helped students connect to their roots during Taste of the Diaspora, which introduced students to a variety of Afro-culture foods and arts on February 27 in the art wing. During this special event celebrating Black History Month, cultures from West-Africa, Afro-Latino, and the Caribbean were represented.  

Bernard Artilles, a senior, said he found it “informative.” 

The Diaspora is the dispersal of native Africans who were taken and enslaved in foreign lands. The event allowed students to learn more about this culture and how the spirit of the Afro-culture lives on, in and through the food.  

“Food Is our culture. It brings people close together,” 12th-grader Destiny King said.

Photo by Kelsy Acosta-Ramirez

Students interacted and smiled while tasting and learning about all this food that local restaurants provided free of charge. Everyone had an upbeat attitude as they read about dishes like jerk chicken and plantains, answered questions, and participated in the gallery walk displaying student artworks. 

But the story doesn’t stop there. During second period, organizers showed a documentary called “High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America.” If you missed it you can watch it on Netflix, but it is about understanding the history of the foods brought from Africa. 

The point is to show community around foods and how different cultures have innovated in different ways. “I’m excited to expose my students, and people that are not my students, to African culture,” English teacher Nakfana Gidey said during the event. 

Gidey organized this event, along with SGA Adviser and math teacher Kayla Kelly, and English teacher Nkenge Cunningham. They worked to teach students about their roots and spread the word with delicious food and meaningful art. 

This all happened with the help of sponsors and donations that Gidey worked hard to find. As the students had fun learning about and connecting to this variety of African and Caribbean culture, this event couldn’t have been possible without help from Oohhs & Aahhs, and Raising A Village who were big sponsors, as well as Bukom Café, El Riconcito, Sunrise Carribean Restaurant, and plenty of other donors who made the event successful.

Photo By Kelsy Acosta-Ramirez

“I thought overall the event went well,” Kelly said. “Kids enjoyed sampling the food. I think some students liked watching the documentary and seeing the gallery walk and the food sampling connected to the documentary and the African Diaspora.” 

As the event ended, students were able to leave Taste of the Diaspora a little more educated about different Afro-culture foods and more connected to Afro-culture, knowing that there are still people helping to get students more in touch and interactive with their roots and develop creative mindsets.