Interactive dinner teaches key parts of black history

By Ashley Hancox

Black History Month comes alive when you’re on a tour with the historical figures themselves.

The Black Student Union is hosting its annual Progressive Dinner to honor important figures in black history.

“The Progressive is a journey through time with a hands-on experience which allows students to move along on a historical timeline of African-American history,” Amber Bibbs, Progressive Dinner founder and Black Student Union vice president, said in an email to the Kernel.

Sound interesting? A previous attendee, Emmett “Buzz” Burnam, director of Diversity Initiatives for BSU, thought so.

“This was an excellent event,” Burnam said in an email to the Kernel, “this was almost a surreal experience during Black History Month because it brought to life people that I have read about.”

The Progressive Dinner is an event that has taken place during Black History Month for the past two years.

Bibbs and Valerie Clay founded the event, and the Black Student Union sponsors it each year.

“We wanted to do something different for Black History Month,” Bibbs said.

Something different is exactly what is done. The Progressive Dinner is a tour through the Student Center while also learning about African-American history.

Each floor, there is a different meal and a different time period displayed.

“This year the ‘Harlem Renaissance’ is on the first floor with the appetizer, ‘Evolution of Hip-Hop’ on the second with the main course and ‘Def Comedy Jam’ on the third while eating dessert,” Bibbs said.

Students and members of the Black Student Union research and prepare information about historical black figures from past times and portray them in an interactive way.

“The Progressive Dinner provided the research for the historical representatives that did more than just wet the appetite of those who attended,” Burnam said. “The research combined with a real person made the information come alive.”

The event takes place Wednesday at 6 p.m. and starts outside WRFL radio station’s office.

This small, formal event has limited space, so if you would like to be an observer or participate, email Bibbs at [email protected]

“Space is limited but everyone is welcome,” Bibbs said.