It was a time for the UH Hilo community to indulge in soul food for the mind and the belly. Theopholius O’Neal was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation and Achievement.
For the final event of February’s Black History Month, the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo held a “Soul Food for Thought Café” event last Friday, where poets, spoken word artists, musicians, and other entertainers took to the open mic to share their talents. There also was a buffet of favorite soul foods. The event was billed as “a time for the UH Hilo community to indulge in soul food for the mind and the belly.”
The opening group at the event was the Gospel Jazz Hilo Band led by singer Shallon Craddock, a pediatrician in Hilo. They opened with “Lift Every Voice and Sing” which is often referred to as the African American National Anthem.
“There was a nice balance of community members and students participating in the entertainment, which included songs, poetry, and hula,” says Ginger Hamilton, director of the Minority Access and Achievement Program.
Approximately 130 people attended. The Student Activities Council provided funding for the food.
During the event, Theopholius O’Neal was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation and Achievement. A description of the award provided by Hamilton:
The Black History Month Committee would like to recognize Theopholius O’Neal for his outstanding service and commitment to the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. Theo has been an integral member of the university and Hilo community. He served on the planning committee for Black History Month Planning month for the past two years, was the manager for University Radio Hilo for many years, he assisted with and chaired the Multi-Cultural Festival, and has supported many events on campus including V-Monologues, Ho‘olaule‘a (serving as co-chair for the 20th anniversary celebration in 2015), and Battle of the Bands. Originally from St. Louis, Theo was always willing to share his experience and talent, and mentor others.
He is an inspiring role model for other non-traditional students and is definitely a leader among his peers. We applaud Theo and wish him much success and luck in the future. Theo is returning to St. Louis this month.
Click photos to enlarge.
Also during February was an exhibit honoring Black History in Hawai‘i, exploring the sacrifices, challenges, and contributions of the Black community to global, U.S., and Hawai‘i histories. The display was located at the front entrance of Mookini Library and was created by the UH Hilo Department of History.
Click photos to enlarge.
About the writer of this story: Susan Enright is a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.
About the photographer: Claudia Hagan is a part-time student at UH Hilo, currently taking courses in marketing and digital photography and serving as photographer for the Office of the Chancellor. She hails from Argentina and is a natural light portrait photographer based on Hawai‘i Island—visit her website at claudiahagan.com.