Students journey through the African diaspora with food, music and community


Ethan Valery

Students line up to taste the curry goat offered at Taste of the Diaspora. Curry goat was one of the Caribbean dishes featured at the event and is served with plantains and brown rice.

Ethan Valery, photo staff

After being postponed due to inclement weather, Dr. Richard O’Bryant hosted the yearly Taste of the Diaspora March 14, where students tried a diverse selection of foods from all over the African diaspora. The African diaspora is the collection of communities descended from native Africans, with the largest populations being found in Brazil, the United States and Haiti. Held at the John D. O’Bryant African American Institute, the event aimed to showcase foods from different cultures and give students a place to connect with staff, faculty and their peers.

The night started with Dr. O’Bryant introducing the event and highlighting its cultural significance. He emphasized the importance of food in most cultures and how sharing food is like sharing one’s culture.

Attendees were treated to a wide variety of foods, such as jollof rice from West Africa, curry goat from the Caribbean, empanadas from South America and sweet potatoes from the U.S. South.

The event was staffed by a team of student volunteers who dedicated their time to setting up the event and serving their peers. After getting their plates, students were encouraged to sit down and converse with each other and faculty about their culture and what these dishes meant to them.

Taste of the Diaspora drew in dozens of students, with the line extending outside the Institute. The event left many students feeling more connected to one another and their cultures.