Experience

BSU holds spoken word

Black History Month continues

Lilly Montero, @lilly_montero3

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“It’s not easy to get up in a room full of strangers and say some shit about yourself,” said Dre Johnson of poetry duo Jackhammer Serenade.

LMC’s Black Student Union held an open mic night featuring the duo and original student work. The night included a workshop on spoken word which helped students foster ideas for their own poetry, a brief dinner, an open mic portion for students and finally a performance by Jackhammer Serenade.

The night was full of colorful content from students with poems ranging from performances of Maya Angelou’s “Ain’t I a Woman,” to poems about sex, love and passionate retellings about what it’s like to be black in America.

The spoken word was an extension of Black History Month events aimed at continuing dialogue and awareness about the black experience. However, the open mic night was open to all and emphasized the need for expression about emotions and students’ individual cultures.

“Black History isn’t just about protest and things like that, it’s about expressing yourself in more ways than one,” said BSU President T’Keyah Taylor.

Taylor felt a big part of the night’s success was the workshop.

The workshop, which was centered around family, brought out impactful dialogue amongst staff and students.

“People were sharing, it was the safe space that I wanted it to be,” said Taylor. “I think because of the energy of the poets that we had, it made the environment really open.”

Jackhammer Serenade, consisting of poets Dre Johnson and Patrick Ohslund were another big highlight of the night.

Leading the workshop and then performing their own original poetry after the open mic section, the two were sure to keep the crowd lively and comfortable.

The two hope to be involved in more events like this on LMC’s campus and to expand their work to the college level. Currently, the two run the small non-profit Bay Area Creative a organization aimed at using poetry and spoken word for team building, professional development for teachers and therapeutic art for personal health.

“The value of [spoken word] is almost invaluable,” said Johnson “Poetry is a tool for emotional clarity and even college readiness”

“The ability to express yourself clearly will get you farther in life,” Johnson continued.

Ohslund sees the benefits it can have for teachers.

“Education needs to be adaptive to the people your teaching,” said Ohslund.

This spoken word is likely to the be the first of many the BSU will host. For more information about upcoming events students can click here.

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BSU holds spoken word