Kreischer Miller proudly recognizes Black History Month and the significant contributions of Black Americans throughout our country’s history. In celebration of Black History Month, we held a luncheon in the office on Tuesday, February 21, 2023. This was an opportunity for team members to spend time together and learn about black culture while enjoying delicious authentic foods accompanied by great music.
To kick off the luncheon, Moustapha Toure, Senior Accountant, Tax Strategies, provided background of Black History Month and the purpose of the celebration, as well as some of the items displayed in the office including traditional instruments, garments, and an information table highlighting black heroes, accounting trailblazers and more.
Here are some highlights from the event, and below are descriptions of the food, garments and instruments seen in the photos.
West African Cuisine
The food was provided from Anna’s Restaurant, a restaurant in Philadelphia known for its West African Cuisine. Here are some of the delicious foods that we enjoyed:
- Thiebouyapp (eggplant, cabbage, green peppers and onions cooked over Senegalese fried rice and fresh lamb sauteed with garlic)
- Alloco (Ivorian fried plantains)
- Attiéké or Grated Cassava Pulp Couscous
- Maafé (Malian groundnut stew or peanut butter sauce with root vegetables and aromatics served with white rice)
- Grilled Fish and Grilled Chicken (Chicken and whole Tilapia marinated in lemon juice with scotch bonnet pepper, onions, tomatoes, cloves garlic, parsley)
- Bissap or Sorrel Juice (dried hibiscus & mint leaves)
- Gnamakoudji or Ginger Juice (clean ginger root, peeled pineapple, and lime juice)
Ashanti Masks and Their Part in African Culture
The Ashanti mask comes from the Akan people group in Ghana. African masks are typically part of a ceremonial costume and are used in religious and social events to represent the spirits of ancestors. These masks are said to bridge the gap between the spiritual realm and the physical realm, and when used, the spirits of the ancestors and other entities are brought to life through dance and atmosphere of the occasion. They’re frequently used in initiation ceremonies and masquerade performances among other events. Those who wore the mask often wore a costume to disguise themselves and to add to the mysticism of the mask.
African Mud Cloth Fabric
Mud cloth is a cotton fabric with a great deal of cultural significance throughout Africa. In its place of origin, Mali, West Africa, mud cloth is worn by hunters as ritual protection and as a badge of status.
Mous brought in his West African white and gold embroidered traditional African wedding garment, boubou, which is made with bazin. This specific bazin is a craftsmanship woven fabric with decorative bindings and threads starched and beaten with wooden clubs.
The balafon is a gourd-resonated xylophone, a type of struck idiophone, that is associated with the neighboring peoples of West Africa. It typically produces 18 to 21 notes, though some are built to produce fewer notes. Balafon keys are traditionally made from Kosso rosewood, dried slowly over a low flame, and then tuned by shaving off bits of wood from the underside of the keys. Wood is taken off the middle to flatten the key or the end to sharpen it.
A djembe or jembe (/ˈdʒɛmbeɪ/ JEM-bay) is a well known instrument from West Africa. This rope-tuned skin-covered goblet drum is played with bare hands. According to the Bambara people in Mali, its name comes from the saying "Anke djé, anke bé" which means "everyone gather together in peace."
This event was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about African American history and celebrate the contributions of Black Americans throughout our country’s history. We’d like to extend a special thank you to Moustapha Toure, Alhassane Diallo, Cyntelle Northern, Jasmin Oommen, Pamela Thallner, and Thomas Sweeney for their efforts in organization everything!
Also check out: