Being in a universal state of mind

Jessica Cole

Students express themselves with poetry in Harambee’s Black Love Day open mic night

Prince Pempton, senior leisure studies major, recited a poem at the open mic night last night in the Rathskeller. STEPHANIE DEVER | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

The girl giggled nervously as Harambee President Adrian Neal serenaded her with a freestyle love poem, after pulling her up on stage for inspiration.

Last night at Harambee’s open mic night, in honor of Black Love Day, Neal warmed up the crowd with a few poems and some words of encouragement.

“If you’re sick of the snow, if you’re sick of having classes in the snow, come up and express yourself,” Neal said with a chuckle.

Kaisha Sherrills, junior psychology major, was the first poet to take the stage after Neal’s introduction. She recited a poem of her own entitled “Chameleon” as she twirled the microphone cord in her fingers.

Tyra “Black Pearl” Flowers, junior magazine journalism major and Kuumba editor for Uhuru, was the featured poet of the night. She recited original poems about love, heartbreak and empowerment.

“She tore it up,” said Jennifer Cline, junior Pan-African Studies major. Cline also recited an original poem.

Flowers is also the co-owner of a company called Poetic Flavor that holds an open mic night called Artsinstark, held the first Friday night of every month at the 2nd April Art Gallery on Cleveland Avenue in downtown Canton.

“Poetry isn’t a chore,” said Flowers. “It’s a culture, it’s a way of life, it’s an expression.”

Prince Pempton, senior leisure studies major, also shared some poetry with the audience.

“Black is a state of mind, and love is universal. We are in a universal state of mind,” said Pempton.

Neal said he was happy that people came to celebrate Black Love Day through poetry, but he wished more people had shown up. He believes art is an important part of black history, and it should be celebrated.

Harambee will be holding another open mic night on March 12 from 8 to 10 p.m. in the Rathskeller.

“This is my release,” Neal said. “Express yourself.”

The Kuumba section of Uhuru will be accepting poems in the next few weeks, and will select the seven best to be in its next issue. Those interested can contact Flowers at [email protected]

Contact ethnic affairs reporter Jessica Cole at [email protected].