By Jennifer Contreras
Cal Poly Pomona’s African American Student Center held the second annual Black History Month Spoken Word Night at the Bronco Student Center on Tuesday. LionLike MindState hosted the event in collaboration with the AASC.
This year’s open mic event focused on the different social issues many African Americans are currently facing across the nation. One of the topics was the several shootings and killings between police officers and black men.
“We attached Black Lives Matter as the topic for the night,” said Tashiana Bryant, AASC coordinator. “It is something we went with and wanted to end with this year since it was a big thing that affected different communities across the nation.”
The setup of the BSC was decorated with posters with different messages such as “Don’t shoot,” “Black lives matter,” “Actions speak louder than ‘like’ buttons” and “What would America be like if it liked black people as much as it loves black culture?”
Although there was a topic of focus and theme to the event, the different artistry displayed and performed at the event went beyond the social issues African Americans are currently facing.
“This event is an expression of any type of art,” said Bryant. “No one specifically has said, ‘This is what it’s going to be.’ Come with it, and we will support it.”
The Spoken Word Night was advertised through social media and affiliated organizations. The event was not only attended by students and staff, but also community members.
Chidera Agu, a first-year chemical engineering student, attended the event for many different reasons.
“I call myself a poet,” said Agu. “It’s Black Empowerment Week and I’m part of the African American Student Center. All the poets are good. I’m just scared to go up there.”
Poets showed mutual respect for each other after each performance.
While some of the poets covered topics on social issues and injustice, other poets decided to focus on other subjects such as personal growth, faith and well-being. The event also included an audience discussion on current issues and a moment of silence dedicated to the many lives that were lost to injustices within the last two years.
Performer and author of “The Thinnest Threads,” Dana Love, said she enjoys uniting as a community to share different messages through poetry.
“Poetry and music are so universal,” said Love. “We can show up anywhere and someone will appreciate it.”
LionLike MindState, which was founded in 2008, is made up of several artists who all share a passion for different artistry and poetry. Acts include poetry, art, music, games, contests and open mic discussions.
Victoria Kernen / The Poly Post
Spoken word night
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