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Students showcase talent at NAACP's Poetry Slam

By Brianna Hawkins
On February 8, 2018

Alumna Jermisha Fraizer performs poetry from her book “Silver Games” during  “My Black Joy is Magic” Poetry Slam. Brianna Hawkins/The Lion's Roar

The universty’s chapter of National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is continuing to honor Black History Month with a poetry slam, where students shared their poetry in front of their peers.

The poetry slam, titled “My Black Joy is Magic,” was held on Feb. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Pennington Student Activity Center Room 108.

The NAACP Public Relations Director Chambria Harrison explained the origins of the title of the event.

“The title of the event was “My Black Joy is Magic,” and it was a play on the popular hashtags on Twitter, ‘Black Boy Joy’ and ‘Black Girl Magic,’” said Harrison. “So, we wanted our performers to give uplifting poetry to the culture. You know, things that’ll uplift black people.”

Many students came out to support the event filling every seat in the room and leaving some to have to stand and listen to the spoken art.

Harrison also shared why the NAACP decided to only allow poets to participate and no other talents.

“It was really good to do something just for the poets ’cause usually on campus we have things for everybody with singing and dancing and everything else,” said Harrison. “But it’s never really just a poetry show. So, that’s what we wanted to do.”

The event featured four participants that NAACP contacted out to present their original poetry.

“We actually just reached out to any poets that we personally knew,” said Harrison. “A lot of these people are past performers at other shows, so we knew their work. Some of them were actually alumni of the school and some were actually current students.”

Junior art major Malik Fland explained why he decided to participate in the poetry slam and share his poetry.

“I just love having the opportunity to perform,” said Fland. “Also, it’s a beautiful thing to witness other people’s poetry.

Alumna Jermisha Frazier was also invited to participate in the event and shared poetry from her book “Silver Games.”

“I got invited by a friend of mine that is on the e-board for NAACP,” said Frazier. “I performed here a bunch of times. This was actually the first place I ever stepped on a stage. So, I always like to come and give back to the African-American organizations on campus where it all started.”

Frazier discussed why students should come to the poetry slam.

“It gives us a platform to showcase our creativity, how we feel and how we express ourselves without limitations,” said Frazier. “We can get up there, and we can say, ‘This is how I feel about something. And if I don’t like it, then I don’t have to try to find the perfect words to say it.”

Harrison believes even though students benefit from hearing artists’ poetry and artists benefit as well by getting a chance to promote their art.

“There are a lot of talent shows that MISA provides for our students, but NAACP is one of those organizations,” said Harrison. “We wanna constantly keep the artists in front of people and let them know that they’re here. Because that’s how their brand, or whatever they wanna do, gets projected. By people seeing it.”

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