In celebration of Black History Month, Black Action Society (BAS) hosted a poetry slam in Sheehy Theater in Maltby Monday night. Students expressed their ideas through spoken word, dance or song.
One performer was Slippery Rock graduate student Ashley Craig. For Ashley, her performance was a way to educate the demographic of college students about something she felt strongly about.
Craig performed a poem by Tanesha Martin titled ‘Silent Kilah.’ The poem was about HIV and AIDS, and Craig was inspired to perform to educate students about the disease.
“I knew I wanted to send a positive and educational message to the crowd in a way that would catch their interest,” Craig said. “I would like for people who engage in risky behaviors to get tested and take care of themselves.”
Craig said the poetry slam was a positive environment for everyone in attendance.
“The poetry slam was not only just your average event, but it was also entertainment for the students by the students in an open and nonjudgmental environment,” Craig said.
For freshman Homeland Security major Amir Hill-Davis, his inspiration came from his girlfriend, Nicole. Hill-Davis chose to share an original love poem.
“My inspiration came from my girlfriend Nicole. The poem served as two things. One, a declaration of my love to her. Two, it serves as a warning for all those that hurt her,” Hill-Davis said.
Hill-Davis enjoyed seeing all different people come together to understand each other through poetry.
“Everyone showed love to everyone and everyone was respectful,” Hill-Davis said.
O’Dell Richardson, BAS president, said his favorite aspect of the poetry slam was everyone showing support for one another.
“One thing I hope that people got out of the poetry slam is that we all have a different story, we all have a different talent, yet we are one,” Richardson said.
“Black History Month is an opportunity to promote and educate the campus on the African-American culture and to be proud of our heritage and remember those who have come before us and appreciate what they have done,” Richardson said.
Richardson said their theme for this year’s Black History Month is Before & Beyond: Strengthening our Foundation.
“This was the second year for BAS to hold the poetry slam and we definitely plan on having it again. We are looking forward to planning it again in the semesters to come,” Richardson said.