Poet Too Black tells stories of hardship, heritage and justice

Rosie Morehead, Multimedia Contributor

Wednesday night in the Memorial Union lounge, students and faculty gathered together to listen to the stories from poets about hardships, justice and heritage.

Poets from all across campus spoke at the beginning of the night, and it led to the spoken word artist Too Black. Too Black attended Ball State University and is from Indianapolis, Indiana. He has been performing poetry professionally for four years.

Terrence Harris, who is the Assistant Director of the Black Cultural Center on campus, was a part of planning this Speaking Justice event.

“Ironically, my first day last year was this event. This is my second time coming to the event, and I was actually apart of the planning for this event. It was a collective effort,” Harris said.

According to Harris, the black culture center has multiple events revolving around black history month, coming up in February.

“We have a list of events we do throughout the year and then coming up right now we have black history month, so we have a slate of events that we do in particular to speaking justice,” Harris said. “This particular event happens during MLK week. There may be other opportunities to do poetry.”

Third-year bio-engineering student Mckenna Mooers explains why she came to this event.

“Getting out and helping you are seeing more of the other side of things since we are a primarily white campus. I think it’s really cool to just hear other opinions. I have different experiences than everyone else and I like to hear everybody’s input,” Mooers said.

Third-year nutrition student Catherine Prater explains why speaking about these topics are important and how the poets and audience will communicate with each other.

“I think it so often is a sensitive topic and that it’s really hard to ask ‘what do you think about…’ in an informal way, for people to say what they are thinking and have it not come off as confrontational,” Prater said.

More than just these speak out events; Harris discussed the importance of culture centers on campus and how they are a great resource for everyone.

“At least attend an event or something, it’s not just for a particular culture it’s for everyone to embrace and understand and appreciate what that brings,” Harris said. “I think that’s the only way to know about it is if you attend something and learn something, that’s the way to enlighten yourself.”

Harris continued saying why poetry and this event is so important and the opportunity it brings for students and staff.

“With it being especially around MLK celebration, it’s just really speaking truth to justice. And in general how some people feel,” Harris said. “Some people dealing with oppression and things and issues and poetry is a way of expressing yourself. It’s soothing; it makes you mad sometimes, it makes you happy, it’s a way of letting it out it’s a relief. It’s an excellent event to do.”

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