Poetry night, guest spoken word artist to kick off Black History Month

Carven Lissaint and Rudy Francisco, guest speakers at last year’s Poetry Night event, gave workshops and spoke to students. Photo Courtesy of Emily Julian.
Carven Lissaint and Rudy Francisco, guest speakers at last year’s Poetry Night event, gave workshops and spoke to students.
Photo Courtesy of Emily Julian.

Spoken word artist and singer-producer Jasmine Mans discloses topics in her poetry, such as media issues, women’s rights, racial awareness, love and heartache, that are orated in such a dynamic way that one must hear to believe. Students will have the chance to hear Mans and students’ works in the Black Student Alliance (BSA)-hosted third annual Poetry Night on Saturday, Feb. 8, at 7:30 p.m. in Lambert Recital Hall.

Poetry Night is the first of many BSA-hosted events that are soon to come in the month of February in celebration of Black History month. Although the event itself was only created three years ago, the art of spoken word poetry has existed for many centuries.

The modern usage of the term originated from the collective poetry of the Harlem Renaissance, blues music influence and the poetic spirit of the 1960 beatnik scene. Spoken word, which became a popular medium of the social injustices during the Civil Rights Movement, has transcended its 1960s origins and become a versatile medium for many artists and poets much like Mans.

Mans however, is not the only artist presenting poetry. MC students are encouraged to bring their own poetry and personal experiences surrounding Black History Month. Interested students can contact BSA president Germani Williams.

“I’m hoping lots of students sign up to share their work,” Williams said. “We’re trying to host an event that is welcoming to all students to participate in.”

According to Williams, BSA members are excited to host the event again and encourage students to bring any type of work they would like to share. Williams also welcomed all to attend for the experience the performances will provide.

“The campus isn’t ready for Jasmine Mans,” said BSA member Onyekachi Ononye. “She has so much power in her voice.”

Although Mans will not be on campus for workshop like past artists Rudy Francisco and Carvins Lissaint, she will be holding a meet-and-greet after the show.

So far student speakers include junior Germani Williams, junior international student Yurim Lee and freshman Alexis Flowers. Thomas Sykes has volunteered to be master of ceremonies for the event.

“I encourage students to sign up,” said Williams. “I’m speaking out and sharing my work despite my fear. Hopefully, other students will, too.”

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