HOPE – An evening of celebration, perspective, poetry, the soul of “soul food” and bringing local awareness to Black History Month is set for Feb. 6 at Hempstead Hall on the University of Arkansas-Hope campus.
Fostered by a project of three students from the Hope Academy of Public Service EAST program, Tara Henry, Kennedy Phillips, and Kayla Wyatt, the event will include a keynote presentation on the history of “soul food” by author Adrian E. Miller, of Denver, Colo., food writer, attorney and certified barbecue competition judge.
Miller is the author of “Soul Food: The Surprising Story of an American Cuisine, One Plate at a Time” and “The President’s Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of the African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families.”
Doors open at 5 p.m. and program activities begin at 5:30 p.m.
Michael Simpson, education specialist, President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site, will emcee the program.
Invocation and benediction will be by Rev. Frankie B. Mitchell, Haynes Chapel Baptist Church, and presentation of the colors will be performed by the Hope High School Air Force Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Color Guard.
Performance of The National Anthem will be by the Hope High School Concert Band and the Haynes Chapel Baptist Church Choir will sing “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” accompanied by the HHS Concert Band.
Tarona Armstrong, NPS Superintendent, President William Jefferson Clinton Birthplace Home National Historic Site, will open the program remarks. Tara Henry will introduce speakers and Kennedy Phillips will present a student perspective on “soul food.”
Poetry readings by student contest winners will be introduced by Kayla Wyatt, and closing remarks for the Hope Public Schools will be offered by Dr. Bobby Hart, superintendent.
The evening will also afford an opportunity for local families to have favorite recipes incorporated into in a community cookbook which will be digitized and distributed free to anyone requesting a copy.
Potluck dishes provided by students will be served in the Springhill and Washington suites. The Aramark/Hope Public Schools Food Services Center will provide beans and cornbread, and Chicken Express will contribute iced tea.
Persons with any food allergies should be aware that all potluck dishes will be homemade.
HHS students who participate by providing a covered dish for the potluck and attend the event may earn community service credit, according to HHS Principal Bill Hoglund. Students should contact Joan Crowder, HAPS community service curriculum specialist, at email@example.com online or signup at the HHS counselor’s office.