Poetry group celebrates Black History Month

Voices, a spoken word organization at Florida A&M, gathered Wednesday for an evening of lyrical recitals.

As guests filled the Rattlers Den, the New Renaissance band played jazz music with a twist of hip-hop to entertain guests before the event began.

When the lights dimmed, the room became silent and the voice of Brandon Jorif, a sophomore theater arts student from Detroit and Voices member, echoed throughout the den as he recited Into Darkness by David Blair.

In Blairs poem, through metaphors and similes, he conveyed how powerful the word black is and how one would want to actually be black.

According to Jorif, the words black and white have different implied meanings.

The word black has a negative connotation in comparison to the word white, he said.

The event was organized to promote unity and support among the community and to educate attendees about the African-American ethnicity and culture.

Jasmine Anderson, a third-year business administration student from Milwaukee, said the event was special because it deviated from the usual February poetry reading.

We usually feature Valentine spoken word during this time of the month, but we wanted to do something different, Anderson said.

The group featured musical selections, recitation and original poetry from FAMU students. The performances featured mostly black history and culture. Poets spoke on a range of topics, including how African-Americans misuse words to how African-Americans need to begin sticking together.

When the performers said lines that resonated with the audience, the guests snapped, nodded their heads, groaned and shouted rewind when they wanted the speaker to repeat their previous line.

For Tiffany Washington, a junior health care management student from Orlando, Fla., said it was an experience she was grateful to have.

This is my first time attending a open mic event, Washington said. The environment was very relaxed, and every one seemed accepting and respectful. Overall, I enjoyed it, and I would probably go back.

Voices have an open mic night every Wednesday in the Rattlers Lounge at 7 p.m.