Eastlake High School is located in Sammamish, Washington, a city just outside of Seattle, to the east. This is a community that is nearly 75% caucasian, and just 1% African American. In a town like this, where diversity is fairly low, the Eastlake High School Black Student Union is crucial. Their mission is to better educate Eastlake High and the greater Sammamish community about black history, black culture, and the black experience in the United States. Their goal is to provide these educational moments for a population that might not otherwise have many chances to interact with any group of “others”. In the past year, the Black Student Union has grown in numbers, which has allowed them to be more active in school activities. They have recently put on an assembly that focused on the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., run an awareness campaign around cultural appropriation, hosted the African American Traveling History Museum, and as their final event they hosted “Soul Food Friday”.
A Lesson Learned Through Food
For this final event, the students of the Black Student Union contacted Ezell’s to inquire if we might be of some assistance with the soul food in question. Well, they came to the right place! We were so excited by the idea that we jumped right on it. Along with the BSU, we were able to bring together a large group of students to enjoy Ezell’s chicken, waffles, greens, macaroni and cheese, and classic grits.
As a part of their project, the Black Student Union created a history booklet with the African/African American roots of each dish presented, and a recipe guide as a way to not only share food with our student body, but to help educate them on the cuisine of the African continent and how it changed as it reached the Americas.
We are told by the BSU administrator that this event would not have been possible without our donation. We could not be happier to facilitate this incredibly positive learning experience!