Soul Food tradition continues

Jimela Duah and the rest of the Afrobeat dancers circle around Precious Osuji as she dances.


            African American Club hosted its annual Soul Food event on February 24. The celebration occurred during Black History month and had an amazing turnout, selling all 137 tickets in advance.

            This event has built in popularity over the years.  Assistant Principal and club advisor Mrs. Fazio conveyed, “Soul Food has been a tradition since before I came to Old Bridge in 2012.”

            The event featured various foods and performances. Step Team and Afrobeat both performed dances for the attendees. Afrobeat co-captain Wendy Bortier said, “My first year as Captain, choreographing dances and teaching a group of great dancers made me a little nervous about the outcome.” However, regardless of the team’s worries, they had an impressive performance.

            As stated in the name, food is the main part of the event. The AAC offered chicken, baked mac n’ cheese, candied yams, green beans with smoked turkey, and, for dessert, peach cobbler with vanilla ice-cream. Jimela Duah who helped plan and attended Soul Food voiced, “The Mac and cheese was phenomenal, and the greens were delicious.”

Xaire Boykins, Brianna Adams and Maliha Nuredinoska serve food to the many attendees who anxiously waited to fill their plates.

            Brianna Adams organized most of the event with the help of other club officers and members. She especially contributed by providing food. Her catering service “B’s Kitchen Kreations” supplied all the side dishes. “The macaroni and cheese and candied yams were family recipes passed down through generations, and the greens recipe is mine, just playing with seasoning,” Adams stated.

            Nicole Foye who prepared the peach cobbler, remarked, “It took me a good 3-4 hours to make 3 trays.” Foye and Adams both dedicated hours of demanding work to their dishes. This homemade touch made the event even more personal and meaningful.

            The last in-person Soul Food event took place in 2020, just before school was disrupted by COVID. In 2021, the AAC had to celebrate virtually over Teams, and they organized a service so students could pick up bagged food for the event, refusing to let world events interfere with the tradition.

Kyra Jarrett and Kaien Russell take a break from their meals to sing along and appreciate the music at the event.

            Soul Food brought in a significant amount of money. “Enough money was made to give a few of my senior’s scholarships,” Mrs. Fazio was pleased to express. Students, specifically to some of the African American Club board members who contributed to the event will be nominated for scholarships later in the year.

            Soul Food is definitely not an event to miss because it seems to provide a good time for everyone. Jimela Duah said, “I enjoyed every part of soul food, and my favorite part was how the performances brought everyone together.”

Posted on 3/4/22

Photos by Tim O’Neill

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