Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Breaking: PCCD appoints former San Leandro police chief to Interim Executive Director of Public Safety
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Li Khan, Editor in Chief • June 21, 2024
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Carpentry instructor spruces up department
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Archives
A cap at the Laney College commencement ceremony on May 24 reads in Spanish, This is for my mom who gave me everything. (Photo: Marcus Creel/PCCD)
Graduations, resignations and more: PCCD Trustees wrap up school year at 5/28 meeting
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Isabelly Sabô Barbosa, Social Media Editor • March 19, 2024
Archives

Wrapping up Black History Month with sun, southern comfort food

Laney College celebrates culture, community, cuisine
Volunteers set up a table of soul food to celebrate the closing of Black History Month on Feb. 27, 2020, at Laney College campus in Oakland, Calif. The event was sponsored by the Associated Students of Laney College (ASLC) and the Black Student Union (BSU). (Ryan Barba/The Citizen)

The Laney College quad was filled with people drawn by the aromas wafting from a long white table adorned with shining metal pans. The hot sun beat down on the crowd, causing glare and bringing attention to the delicious food that lays underneath it. The smell is familiar and warm, like the sun and southern comfort that comes along with the food on this unusually hot day.

Corn bread, chicken wings, green beans, and macaroni and cheese sit on a paper plate distributed by volunteers. (Tyler Black/The Citizen)

Students of all backgrounds waited for fried chicken, green beans, macaroni and cheese, as well as with the classic cornbread that brings this feast full circle. Food does truly bring people together. There’s no better way to connect with a community than to feed that community.

The history behind the food is not so delicious. The traditional foods African-American people grew up eating consists of scraps of slave masters. For instance, chitterlings: chitterlings are a popular dish made from animal intestines — imagine the struggle to find animal intestines as delicious. Fried foods are able to stay out without refrigeration, greens you can leave out for a while and feed a whole family, mac and cheese took the bare essentials and made them golden. These are just a couple of examples of how food from struggle became the food of unity.

In celebration of Black History Month, students were invited to experience some culturally black food and the history behind it. The Black Student Union (BSU) and the Associated Students of Laney College (ASLC) combined efforts to bring students together for this celebration. The line was long and winding and the music set the scene for the party vibe.

The event with BSU has been happening annually at Laney. ASLC President Terance Williams was proud of the turnout.

“We wanted to do something to end Black History Month, right. So we said ‘why not do a party and connect with our culinary department, and have some soul food?’”

Students and community members wait patiently in the the line for food, which snakes across the campus quad. (Ryan Barba/The Citizen)

Sarah Hilton, the acting president of the Laney BSU, is also a senator on the ASLC.

Hilton spoke about what the BSU and ASLC do for students and why they are important to Laney’s community. She described how the event was another student-centered celebration intended to bring students together.

“Immediate resources and food pantries for students — we are doing all of that —  students don’t have to worry about their meals, they can worry about their education and actually finish these two-year programs,” Hilton said.

With this event and others like it, the BSU and ASLC demonstrate how a sense of community molds Laney and brings students together. The BSU might be a black student organization, but it is inclusive to all.

About the Contributor
Tyler Black
Tyler Black was born in Washington D.C., but raised in the Bay Area, spending most of his childhood and adult life in Berkeley, with brief stays living around Lake Merritt and North Oakland. Tyler has always been one for adventure and exploration of some sort. Growing up included activities such as Boy Scouts where he learned how to throw axes and won best throw, drama class at school and ministry at church to express himself. He would often draw original comic strips in class. Always questioning things lead him to a life of conspiracy theories, and he hopes to gain journalism knowledge to make these claims more factual! Tyler feels The Citizen will help him pursue his other passions, which include storyboarding, podcasting, as well as authoring screenplays and documentaries. Tyler has already fallen in love with journalism, and the passion he sees in others drives him to want to learn more.
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