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"Sacred dessert" aims to unite middle school students

Serving up sweet potato pie and unity
Serving up sweet potato pie and unity 01:46

ROBBINSDALE, Minn. -– Students from Robbinsdale Middle School came together to celebrate culture and heritage Friday, and they did so without leaving the cafeteria.

As part of the school's Black History Month programming, students were treated to a special sweet potato pie dessert during Friday's lunch.

"Sweet potato pie is a sacred dish," said Tony Patterson, the district's Assistant Director of Achievement and Integration. "So we want to make sure we're incorporating the values of sweet potato pie, and at least the conversation outside of how good it is, but the conversation to learn about culture."

Enter Rose McGee, and her non-profit, Sweet Potato Comfort Pie.

Since 2014, McGee has used her recipe to bring others together.

"I consider sweet potato pie as being the sacred desert of Black culture," McGee said. "No matter where you are, Black people know what sweet potato pie is."

McGee says by sharing the dessert with others from different backgrounds, we can better come together as humans.

"I just believe that food has a way of connecting people no matter who they are, that's what I'm to see on the faces of the children today," she said.

This is the second time the school has provided the pie. In other instances, they've highlighted other cultural foods like wild rice and pico de gallo. 

"It's not just about the sweet potato pie," Patterson said. "It's about the conversations, the recognizing the history of sweet potato pie. It's about the celebrating, the students that are represented in our district as well, so it's about representation too. "

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