Ulrich Museum hosts book signing with author Kwame Onwuachi


Courtesy of Kwame Onwuachi

‘Follow your dreams’ is a saying students are told throughout their lives. Los Angeles chef Kwame Onwuachi, author of “Notes from a Young Black Chef,” is a firm believer in this.

Onwuachi was this year’s guest speaker at Wichita State’s annual Academic Convocation.

On Thursday, after the convocation, students and faculty members headed over to the Ulrich Museum of Art where they hosted a reception with a chance to meet Onwuachi and get their copy of the book signed. Students and faculty alike thought the book was both empowering and inspiring.

“It’s a great book,” transition mentor McKenzie McWilliam said. “I’m from a town where there’s no diversity, so you don’t know about situations like [what is described in the book].”

McWilliam feels that reading about past experiences others have had is different from just simply hearing about it.

“You don’t get to experience them or see them at all,” McWilliam said. “So being able to read about it, you can catch a first hand view. It’s a lot different than what I go through.”

Student Grace Gallagher said that it was cool to see someone like Onwuachi experience a culture that is different from her own.

“It’s really cool to see his approach from growing up in the Bronx, and being Nigerian and living in Nigeria for a while,” Gallagher said. “I think that’s really cool.”

Onwuachi’s inspiration behind the book was a speech that he had given and then a fan had encouraged him to write a book telling his story.

“They said ‘you need to put this on paper because people should hear your story,’” Onwuachi said.

Onwuachi feels that the students at Wichita State embraced the book and the story behind it so much that he wanted to connect with the students by giving a speech.

“Follow your dreams. No matter how big or small they are,” Onwuachi said. “You’re never gonna know where they’ll take you and the journey is the reward.”