Hab center 'taster' event is mouth-watering

Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Members of the Marshall Habilitation Center's Black History Month Committee worked hard Tuesday to provide current and former hab center employees with some great tasting food at the annual "taster" event. From left to right are MHC employees, Janet Jackson, Janica Johnson, Gerry Williams, Phesa Wright, Andrea Giger, Addie Jackson, Marlene Van Horn and Delbert Ganaway.

A smorgasbord of ethnic delicacies was dished up Tuesday as the Marshall Habilitation Center Black History Month Committee held its annual "taster" event, to the delight of many current and former hab center employees.

Phesa Wright, co-chairwoman of the committee along with Janica Johnson, explained the significance of the day, a February favorite at MHC.

"We do this once a year for Black History Month. This is for the employees and it's also for the retirees that have already been here," Wright said. "They come and they taste some ethnic food. We have desserts, vegetables and all kinds of meats -- and we also have pigs' feet today."

Wright said the event is held over the course of the day and usually runs from about 9 a.m., time for a late breakfast, until about 3 p.m. to accommodate various work shifts.

"We have people coming in and out all day. We also invite some other people from the community ... the NAACP and our newspeople. We get together and talk about things and work on more things for Black History Month," she said.

Wright said the event isn't just about eating good food. The subject of black history is always very prevalent.

"We would like to share black history with the community so we can learn about each other," she explained. "Some of our children don't really know about their culture, so we would like our children to move forward and learn about their culture and be strong, courageous people. I was teaching some children the other day about Martin Luther King and Carter Woodson, who actually started Black History Week years ago."

Addie Jackson, a developmental assistant at MHC for the last 30 years, said the event is about having fun and spreading knowledge of black history.

"I think our young people need to know about Black History and what went on years ago," Jackson said.

One Black History Month Committee member, Delbert Ganaway, provided insightful thoughts not only on black history, but also on the youth of today.

"I feel we need to stress to our young people what black history is all about," Ganaway said. "Not just one month out of the year -- every day of every month of the year stress what it's all about. We have come a long way, but we still have a long way to go. If each generation tries to put some input in, I think we'll get there."

"I think everybody needs to come together and try to help our young people instead of criticizing them," he added. "When I came along, anybody would reach out and grab you and say, 'Hey, you're doing wrong' and that was it. Now people have a tendency to just talk about our young people. Don't talk about them, reach out and try to help them. I think if everybody would do more of that, the young people would see that we care and things would be a lot better."

Contact Eric Coley at

marshallfaith@socket.net