(COLORADO SPRINGS)— The African-American Historical and Genealogical Society of Colorado Springs (AAHGSCS) held a soul food luncheon on Saturday, Feb. 4, to kick off Black History Month.

Organizer Candice McKnight spent two days, plus an all-nighter preparing food for the event.

“We have a ball…Every time we do this we have a wonderful time…Every year either we have a soul food luncheon, or either we have a soul food dinner,” said McKnight.

The menu, consists of a long list of soul food, taking McKnight over a minute to recite each item, “Cabbage, sweet potatoes, cornbread, black-eyed peas with turkey, rice, coleslaw, fried chicken, short ribs, fried catfish nuggets, barbecue ribs…” to name a few.

McKnight’s cooking is part of the reason why people come to this event every year.

“One lady told me…’Oh, this macaroni is delicious…who fixed this?’ I said, I did. ‘For real?’ I said, ‘Yeah, for real!'” McKnight said with a laugh.

This is AAHGSCS’s 26th year hosting the event. Various organizations set up tables to educate the community about black history, including; the Buffalo Soldiers Memorial committee, the Pioneers Museum, the Pikes Peak Library District, the Colorado Springs Police Department, and the Ute Pass Historical Society.

“Quite often our history is filtered by those who write the books. And quite often, blacks and browns don’t write the books…Part of the reason I’m here is to make sure all the history is captured and all the history is reflected. These events give us an opportunity to verbalize that on a personal level,” said Willie Breazell, Chairman of the Buffalo Soldiers Memorial committee.

The event is also used as an opportunity for community building.

“There’s so much friction and discord and anger right now going on in the nation. I love being at events where we’re coming together as a community. In peace and love and to learn about each other and share culture,” said Ruselis Perry, CSPD recruiting officer.