STEPHENVILLE — Several Tarleton State University departments are combining resources for a campus soul food happening to celebrate Black History Month.
Sodexo, the Lance Zimmerman Department of Student Involvement, Tradition, Spirit & Family Relations, and the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and International Programs will co-host the event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 4, at the dining hall on the Stephenville campus.
The groups will feature a traditional soul food meal prepared by Sodexo General Manager Tiffany Mitchell and Executive Chef Marc Boyd, both from Wiley College. The goal is to introduce Black/African American cuisine to the campus.
Wiley is a private, historically Black college west of Marshall.
Mitchell developed her love for serving and cooking at an early age from her grandfather and mother, who were both chefs. She has been in food service for over 15 years and with Sodexo for two years at Wiley.
“I believe that food and fellowship are always the connection to our souls and heart, which is why today in our culture it is called soul food,” she said. “I enjoy cooking and sharing soul food with all people and cultures, as I believe it connects us all and creates a bonding experience.”
Boyd has had a passion for cooking since his grandmother gave him his first cookbook when he was 5 or 6.
Thursday’s menu will consist of a variety of dishes, including hot-water cornbread, cornbread dressing, collard greens, smothered pork chops with onion gravy, candied yams, sautéed cabbage and southern fried fish as well as desserts like sweet potato pie and pound cake.
“After hearing feedback from the student body, Sodexo and partners saw an opportunity to celebrate, honor and feature a special event highlighting Black History Month through soul food,” said Tanner Smith, General Manager of Sodexo at Tarleton. “We encourage everyone to come experience and learn about soul food and celebrate Black History Month.”
Lathes Towns, Director of the Lance Zimmerman Department of Student Involvement, Tradition, Spirit & Family Relations, said the timing is perfect.
“We’re excited to kick off Black History Month with such a great event,” she said. “It provides an opportunity for students to experience cuisine that may be new to them.”
Tiburcio Lince, Director of the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and International Programs, encourages all students, faculty and staff to celebrate and honor Black History Month with events planned throughout February.
“Our office is pleased to contribute to events that affirm all Tarleton Texans through an ongoing commitment to celebrate diversity, promote inclusion and pursue equity for the entire university community.”
For more information on Black History Month events at Tarleton, visit https://calendar.tarleton.edu and via Instagram at @TarletonDiversity.
Back History Month has been recognized in the U.S. since 1976 and in many other countries around the world, including Canada and the United Kingdom.