Fisk hosts Food and Music Festival

Ben Tankard and his band (photo by Wanda Clay).

Ben Tankard and his band (photo by Wanda Clay).

On a hot summer day, there were many participants and visitors to the campus of Fisk University on June 25. The Food and Music Festival was an all day celebration of Fisk’s 150th anniversary hosted by the staff of WFSK Radio.

WFSK Program Director Sharon Kay said: “We are all a part of the university and this is a contribution of the station to offer assistance to Fisk in helping to bring in money to keep the university in operation for many years to come.”

The festival had a plethora of vendors with food, information and the popular shaved ice/snow cones and a village of jumpy toys for the children.

The entertainment brought local talent and a few words by alumnae celebrities, actress Kim Whitley and comedian George Wallace.

Musical entertainment was provided by Joe Johnson and his band, Cicely Floyd Mason, Denny Jiosa & Friends, Bob Baldwin, Shouty and Ben Tankard & his 5 Piece Band.

The Metro Human Relations Commission offers these quick facts about Fisk University:
Fisk held the first classes in 1866 at the Union army barracks with students ranging in ages of 7-70; Booker T. Washington, founder of Tuskegee University, sent all of his children to the college for their baccalaureate education; in 1952, Fisk was the first predominantly Black college to earn a Phi Beta Kappa chapter, organized as the Delta of Tennessee Chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society—the chapter inducted its first student members on April 4, 1953; Fisk has graduated more African Americans who go on to earn Ph.D.s in the natural sciences than any other institution; John Lewis (D-Ga.), civil rights champion, former president of SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) earned a bachelor’s degree in ‘religion and philosophy’ is a graduate of Fisk; On October 6, 1871, a nine-member student choir embarked on a national fundraising tour—the world renown Fisk Jubilee Singers.

The historical Fisk University is located at 1000 17th Ave. North.