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Published on November 21, 2019

African Club Hosts Annual Banquet

Eastern's WUMALA dance club performs at the banquet.

Eastern Connecticut State University’s African Club presented its annual banquet to celebrate African culture on Nov. 21 in the Betty R. Tipton Room. In partnership with the Campus Activity Board, the theme for the evening was “Welcome to our Kingdom.” It was a night filled with entertainment, food, prizes and the crowning of a king and queen.

The evening began with opening remarks from club officers and a performance of the gospel choir “United Voices of Praise.” There was also a poetry reading, a model walk and a dance-off.

From choreography and entertainment to arranging for food and planning a budget, the banquet took the entire semester to plan. Tariq Sullivan ’22 said, “We had to design flyers, create a color scheme, buy materials and request money. A lot went into it, but the outcome was amazing.” Sullivan, community service chair for the African Club, also shared what African culture means to him. “African culture isn’t celebrated that much, so this banquet’s purpose is to inform and remind people of the importance it has.”

With doors opened to everyone on campus no matter their race or culture, the banquet was a chance for students to connect with each other while learning more about African culture. The evening continued with the crowning of the king and queen and ended with the model runway where attendees walked a red carpet to pose in their royal attire.

Club President Safiya Palmer ‘22, whose primary role is to lead the club and monitor what takes place, shared what the African club means to her. “I fell in love with the African club when I joined Eastern last year. I’ve learned the importance of embracing my roots and being unapologetically black.”

The club’s mission is to promote interest in the history, development and cultures of Africa and the common humanity that unites us all while promoting community service programs, events and activities. “There was a point in time when people were ashamed of being African because of the stigmas,” said Palmer, “so it’s a blessing to be able to overcome that, embrace the culture openly, and be proud of it. African culture is far too vibrant and rich not to share with the world.

Written by Bobbi Brown