BSU Hosts Night of Dinner and Music

Brandon T. Bisceglia

Live music, hot food, and students from across campus filled the German Club on Thursday for the Black Student Union’s semiannual

Johnny Graham and the Groove play on the stage in the German Club during the Black Student Union's Soulful Dinner and Performance on Thursday. Photograph by Brandon T. Bisceglia.

Soulfoul dinner and performance. The dinner featured Johnny Graham and the Groove on stage, a band from the Baltimore and Washington, D.C. Metro areas, who kept the night lively with an eclectic mix of jazz, rhythm & blues, hip-hop, and rock.

Over 50 students, faculty, and family members showed up to the event. They lined up to be served from a buffet of traditional African and African-American foods, including collard greens, roasted turkey, and backed macaroni and cheese.

BSU President Arnold Lane said the BSU hosts a similar event every fall and spring. In February, it becomes tied in with the other events his group hosts for Black History Month. “This is purely entertainment for the student body,” he said. “It’s a way to wind down from the rest of the month.”

The dinner was originally billed as featuring the Universal African Dance and Drum Ensemble. BSU Vice President Cora St. Marie said that the choice of the band had changed at the last moment. “We were supposed to have a dance ensemble performance, but they were triple-booked,” she explained.

BSU member Jennifer Banks, however, didn’t mind the change of performers. “I like the music,” she said. “It’s mellow and fits the mood.”

Ebony Langston, a psychology major in her senior year, said that the BSU did a great job as she worked on a full plate. “I’ve been to a lot of the Black History Month events,” she said. “I like to come out and support what they’re doing.”

Director of Intercultural Relations Wanda Tyler also came to the dinner because she wanted to support their efforts. However, she found herself enjoying the event for additional reasons. “I love jazz,” she said. “This is a good mixture.” Tyler said that she tries to encourage students from differing cultural backgrounds to attend events hosted by groups outside of their own cultures.

Lane and St. Marie said they see their leadership role with the BSU during February as an opportunity to give back to the entire UNH community. “It’s a chance to educate people about history, Pan-African and African-American,” Lane said.