Lawrence’s Black Organization of Students put on their fifth annual Celebration of Black Heritage dinner Saturday evening. This year’s theme was “New Beginnings of the Sistah.” Burnt orange, golden yellow and dark green tablecloths covered the tables that filled the Buchanan Kiewit Recreation Center. On each table was a different biography of a successful black woman and a commemorative pencil for each guest. A few huge photos of historical black women with biographies were placed around the gym as a tribute to the women. The Lawrence University Percussion Ensemble, dressed in wild lively outfits that paralleled their music, played while people arrived. BOS president Paris Brown welcomed everyone and talked a bit about the evening before inviting people to begin dinner. The tasty dinner, served buffet-style, consisted of fried chicken, candied yams, collard greens, red beans and rice, Jollof rice, and mixed green salad. A large table held the two desserts: caramel apple pie and peanut butter bars. During dinner, a mix of mellow instrumental and energetic, vocal music added to the ambience. Following dinner, members of BOS and other students preformed a skit entitled “New Beginnings of the Sistah.” This year’s skit was entirely written by Paris Brown and Community Relations Officer Taeya Abdel-Majeed. BOS received help writing their script in previous years from local black community members. In the skit, a girl learns about the strong women of her heritage and is encouraged to keep pursuing her goals in life. Through a dream she sees brief scenes about Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Liberian president Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, and Aretha Franklin. This dinner used to be an annual Kwanzaa celebration at Lawrence. The holiday occurs in December, but the group waited until February to celebrate. Five years ago, BOS renovated their organization and decided it was time to change their celebration as well. Brown said, “The purpose of this dinner is not only celebration, but education of history – black and American. It is a time for reflection of heritage. The event hopes to encourage people to learn more about their own history and the history of others also.” It is always a pleasure to learn more about heritage, whether of a different culture or of one’s own. If you missed the dinner this year, make sure to attend next year’s Celebration of Black Heritage and experience culture through a wonderful meal and a great skit.